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AlcoSensor breath samples: How to tell if your subject is cooperating



October 03, 2005

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Dr. Richard Weinblatt Weinblatt's Tips
with Dr. Richard Weinblatt

Tip: AlcoSensor breath samples: How to tell if your subject is cooperating

As a former patrol division deputy sheriff in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I, as well as any other officer who has conducted countless DUI arrests, can fairly state that drunks often do not cooperate with our examination procedures.  One problem that comes up is determining whether subjects are really blowing hard enough to submit a sample into the Intoxilyzer Inc. AlcoSensor handheld device. 

A useful and very visual way (especially nice when used with an in-car video camera to record the process) to determine if they are blowing hard enough is to remove the clear plastic wrapping used to protect the mouthpiece prior to use.  Hold the normally discarded wrapping vertically in front of the subject as they blow into the mouthpiece. Assuming that it is an AlcoSensor mouthpiece that does not have a restriction at the far side from the subject and gives minimal back pressure, there should be a free flow of air through the mouthpiece causing the plastic wrapping to flutter.

If the wrapping material doesn't flutter, you can question the subject's cooperation in submitting a breath sample.

 

About the author

Dr. Richard Weinblatt is a criminal justice educator, former police chief, police media commentator and an instructor in multiple disciplines. He has earned Florida Criminal Justice Standards certifications in general law enforcement topics, firearms, defensive tactics, and vehicle operations, as well as instructor certifications for Taser, pepper spray, and expandable baton. He holds the Certified Law Enforcement Trainer (CLET) designation from the American Society for Law Enforcement Training (ASLET) and is a certified AFAA Personal Fitness Trainer. Dr. Weinblatt is Dean of the School of Public and Social Services & Education/Assoc. Professor of Criminal Justice at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, IN.  He previously served as Director of the Institute for Public Safety at Central Ohio Technical College near Columbus, OH, Professor and Program Manager for the Criminal Justice Institute at Seminole Community College near Orlando, FL, and Chairman of the Public Services Dept./Criminal Justice Instructor at South Piedmont Community College near Charlotte, NC. Dr. Weinblatt has worked in several regions of the country in reserve and full-time sworn positions ranging from auxiliary police lieutenant in New Jersey to patrol division deputy sheriff in New Mexico to reserve deputy sheriff in Florida and police chief in North Carolina. Dr. Weinblatt has written extensively on law enforcement topics since 1989. He had a regular column in Law and Order Magazine for a decade and he has also written for Police, Sheriff, American Police Beat, Narc Officer, and others. Dr. Weinblatt has provided media commentary on police matters for local and national media including CBS Evening News, CNN, MSNBC, HLN, and The Washington Post. Dr. Weinblatt earned a Bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice, a Master of Public Administration in Criminal Justice, an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate of Education. Weinblatt may be reached through www.TheCopDoc.com.






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