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deCastro reiterates call for breathalyser tests

- Says too many persons guilty of DUI
The breathalyser is used by police in certain countries to detect alcohol levels in suspected drunken drivers. Photo: CBC
Donald deCastro. Photo: VINO
Donald deCastro. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Another call for the breathalyser to be introduced in the Territory to assist police to apprehend persons driving under the influence (DUI) has been made by public activist and radio talk show host Donald deCastro.

According to deCastro, it is a concern that he has mentioned before to all Governments in the past but his calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

“We all want the police to do their jobs in many ways but there is one thing that the police department has been trying to get for years and Government can never find money to give it to them and that is a breathalyser test that you can immediately give to drivers that are involved in accidents,” Mr. deCastro said on his radio programme Straight Talk on March 21, 2012.

According to him, too many people are driving under the influence of alcohol and evading the law due to the non-existent of the breathalyser in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force. “They (Government) find money for a lot of stuff so why something like this is not important. I think it is important,” deCastro said.

In June of 2012, the then newly sworn in Assistant Police Commissioner David Morris when asked about the possibility of the force obtaining breathalyser equipment, had said he was totally opposed to drink-driving and drug-driving, but that for the department to implement a tool like a breathalyser the legislation that demands it must also be in place. Currently, no such law exists, although Commissioner of Police Reynell Frazer pointed out that blood and urine tests are available at the local hospital.

Drivers who can pass roadside sobriety tests -- they can touch their noses or walk a straight line -- still might be breaking the legal limit for blood alcohol and be a hazard on the road. So police officers in certain countries use some of the latest technology to detect alcohol levels in suspected drunken drivers and remove them from the streets. That includes the use of the breathalyser, which was invented in 1954.

How the Breathalyzer Test Works

According to, a breathalyser test estimates the blood alcohol content in a person’s body based on a breath sample. Alcohol that is absorbed into the body shows up in the breath of a person and can give an indication of the amount of alcohol that is concentrated in the bloodstream. Alcohol is not immediately digested or chemically changed upon absorption, and as the blood goes through the lungs, some of the alcohol in the lungs is exhaled into the air. The ratio of breath alcohol to blood alcohol is 2,100:1.

All breathalyser devices have a mouthpiece, usually a plastic tube or straw, which is used to blow air into a chamber in which the air is analyzed. A gauge provides a readout of the estimated blood alcohol content, although some readouts are digital and others are based on a color chart.

7 Responses to “deCastro reiterates call for breathalyser tests ”

  • rodent (23/03/2012, 08:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Statistics show more accidentas are caused by non drinkers. People who have a few drinks in most cases are better drivers then non drinkers. Also most drunk driving accidents are caused by non drinkers banging into someone who had a few drinks and of course they blame it on the drinker. It's just a way for the government to collect more money in most cases
    • Uh huh (23/03/2012, 10:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I suppose you found those statistics on a package of rolling papers? Most assinine statement I have heard in years.
      • rodent (23/03/2012, 11:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Uh Huh, Those are facts from the US Dept of transportation and the Dept of Justice. Look it up and then say " Ahh Hah your right"
  • wings (23/03/2012, 08:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    first time me agree wid tis decastro dude
  • at east (23/03/2012, 12:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    yea dem drucking man dem always runing down people
  • Goose Gander (23/03/2012, 14:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well I hope that the policemen giving the breathalyzer tests wouldn't have been hanging out at the same bar and partaking in shots of jaeger and all. I certainly would demand the police take the test too.
  • Music (26/03/2012, 15:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The test kits would last about as long as the radar speed guns! Do you ever see them deployed?

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