What you need to know about the SAPS’ new breathalyser

Breathalyser manufacturer ALCO-Safe has announced a new partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS) which will see them roll-out new rapid test breathalyser instruments countrywide.

In a statement released by the company earlier this week, ALCO-Safe said that the ‘Alcoblow Rapid Test’ was the device selected, due to its speed and ease of use.

Unlike other breathalyser models, the device requires the individual being tested to blow into an inverted cone area, with results being delivered in under a second.

The model is also unique in that it differentiates between professional vehicle driver alcohol limits or private vehicle driver alcohol limits, said Rhys Evans, director at ALCO-Safe.

This is because professional vehicle driver alcohol limits are notably lower than those of private drivers, said Evans.

“Typically, the device only indicates whether or not a person is over private vehicle driver drinking limits; however, the SAPS will be testing both private vehicle drivers and professional vehicle drivers, and wanted a device that could differentiate between the two,” said Evans.

“To accommodate them, we modified the device to indicate a pass or fail through coloured light indicators,” he said.

  • A green light – indicates a negative test and that there is acceptable sobriety;
  • An orange light –  indicates that the person has tested over the professional drinking limit;
  • A red light –  indicate that a person is over all legal alcohol limits.

Evans adds that those individuals who test positive for being over the legal drunk driving limit will still require a secondary test, such as a blood test, to confirm exact blood alcohol levels, a procedure necessary for prosecution.

ALCO-Safe confirmed that it had already completed its first shipment to the SAPS in November 2017.


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What you need to know about the SAPS’ new breathalyser