Minister Updates On Roadside Sobriety Testing

March 17, 2015

Minister of Tourism Development & Transport Shawn Crockwell provide an update on the implementation of Roadside Sobriety Testing, saying that the introduction of the handheld testing unit will not require legislative amendments, and the selected handheld testing device is the Drager Alcotest 7510 Unit.

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Monday [Mar 16], Minister Crockwell said, “The Transport Control Department, with the assistance of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, the Bermuda Police Service and other agencies have completed the research on roadside sobriety testing and its viability in Bermuda.

“The working group reviewed relevant legislation and schemes in several other jurisdictions and the research also included identifying an approved testing device that is most suitable for use in Bermuda.

“The working group proposed that the following three legislative amendments to the Motor Car Act 1951 could be implemented in the short term which would have the greatest impact on our roads to sustain life; amend the legislation to allow “test before arrest” for roadside breathalyzers, amend to create provisions on preliminary breath testing and amend to provide an approved instrument order so the proposed breathalyzer may be used by the police to administer preliminary testing.

“However, through further consultation with the Attorney General’s Chamber and consideration of constitutional issues related to “testing before arrest”, Roadside Sobriety Testing will be introduced as an alternative substantive testing method to the existing testing that currently is administered at the Hamilton Police Station.

“The selected handheld testing device is the Drager Alcotest 7510 Unit [see below] and the unit has to be capable of being used as evidence in court. Therefore, the Transport Control Department is making the necessary arrangement for the manufacturer to provide local demonstrations on the use of the unit and verification on its suitability for the intended purposes.

“The manufacturer’s presentation will be part of the on-going consultation with the Bermuda Police Service, Health, Magistrates Courts, the Bar Council and the DPP’s Chambers on the intended use of the unit as a substantive testing device.

“The introduction of the handheld testing unit will not require legislative amendments and once we have completed the verification of the unit and it is deemed acceptable by the Bermuda Police Service, we will lay an Order approving the said instrument and if there are no identified issue we intend to lay the Order in May 2015.

“In the meanwhile, I urge all Bermuda residents to drive responsibly and have consideration for the safety of themselves and other road users,” added Minister Crockwell.

An information sheet on the Drager Alcotest 7510 Unit, from the manufacturer, is below [PDF]

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (34)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Mockingjay says:

    They should start with the House of Assembly.

  2. get ready says:

    you think stop and seach was bad.get ready for a whole new level. dont comply you may get shot or tazed they have it now. you will submit. you will submit!

    • Sorry Sir says:

      Paranoid much? Stop and Search is way worse than breathing into a tube. Come on now.

      • get ready says:

        Another reseason to pull someone over. This is not you look a little wobbly blow into this tube. This is every one using this road blow into this tube. I wonder what road or naborhoods they will post up outside of?

        • Sorry Sir says:

          East Broadway, Pitt’s bay road, St. Johns road, Dockyard, St. Georges square, Crawl. You know… anywhere there’s a club or bar. The thing is, people are dying. More people die of road accidents that are associated with alcohol use than there are gang murders. The reason why this has to be put in place is because of the few bad apples who ruin it for the rest of us. Now if only 10% of the accidents on our roads that cause death were in connection to alcohol use, we wouldn’t be talking about this. But the fact that 60%-75% of road deaths are linked to alcohol, it’s a problem. It’s a culture that needs to be stopped.

  3. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Drunk drivers…you have officially been put on notice! Hopefully the ammount of walls I see being knocked down weekly will subside because of this.

    • Mockingjay says:

      Does this go for the Rugby Classic too or is that too close to home.

      • Sorry Sir says:

        What does the Rugby Classic have anything to do with this? Pretty much every year the police is out in full force and have arrested tourist and locals alike for driving drunk from the event. So what’s your point?

        • Regina says:

          You know him, he’s one of the losers that always tries to bring race into everything. #idiot #fail

          • Mockingjay says:

            Ahh did anybody mention anything about race.

            • Creamy says:

              It’s just in time for Cup Match too isn’t it. Or is that too close to home?

            • Sorry Sir says:

              You still haven’t made your point clear.

            • Ed Case says:

              Mockingay: You didn’t actually mention race but the inference was that WRC drunken drivers would perhaps be exempt and that is perhaps because most of them are lilly white. You know very well that this is what you meant so quit the choir boy act.

    • Half Full says:

      Sadly the number of walls being knocked down is mostly from texting and driving or otherwise fiddling with gadgets. Unfortunately, there’s no test for that stupidity…. Eyes on de road folks.

  4. Sara says:

    About time!!!

  5. Skink says:

    Just in time for May24th ;) Awesome!!!!……

    “Bad Boys, Bad Boys, what ya gonna do?!?”……

    “You’re going to blow right here Sir!!!!”


  6. hmmm says:

    Can we also introduce testing on entry to the House so all PLP and OBA and Independents are only allowed in if under the limit…if you can’t drive a car then you can’t run a country.

    Also drug tests please.

  7. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    May I suggest East Broadway between one and two a.m. nightly.

  8. lol says:

    This is gonna cause alotta traffic jams around may 24th, county games and cup match. Whole island will be off the road come september.. Maybe they should start up Police Club.

  9. Common Sense is free says:

    STDs and nasty dirty people will have their orifice on this device and we are expected to put our mouth on it too?

    You realize that a medical ‘person’ must be there by law when contamination via orifices is involved, right?

    What when somone with Chlamydia or Herpes or body fluids on their mouth blows on it then I do? My whole life of being clean and safe is thrown down the gutter!
    And if I refuse, even though I don’t drink a drop of alcohol, I will be treated like a subordinate and arrested and penalized?

    That is not justice, nor is it sensible!

    You better have a solution for this!

    Even if you have replaceable mouth pieces you still have to have a medical person there to ensure that replacement of the mouth piece is done sterile and safe!

    You want dirty hands putting it on?

    Would they let you do it? That I would agree too. A sensible solution.
    Have a bag of small sterile pouches that each contain disposable mouth pieces (or covers at least), and let the individual open his own sealed sterile pouch and put on his own sterile mouth piece/cover and THEN it is just and fair and sensible, but most importantly, SAFE!

    • PBanks says:

      I think that’s a common sense response to the proposal, ensuring the safety of people isn’t endangered through use of these devices is a good thing to be concerned about.

    • hmmm says:

      It comes with 100 mouth pieces as standard , then you buy more in bulk.

      He blower will be using a new mouthpiece.

      Problem solved ????

    • jim hill says:

      I think you will find that the plastic tube you blow in is disposable. A fresh, clean one for every blow. As the readings from the device can be used as evidence, one would assume that there are adequate safeguards to prevent contamination.
      Devices like these have been in use around the world for decades, with no reports of anyone catching a disease from them.
      This is not new technology, folks, just new to Bermuda.

  10. think about this now says:

    Hey, Im all for it. I mean, this means the public transport and taxi service will get better right? Oh, It wont? What? It’s probably going to get worse?

    Typical solution. lets punish everyone for a few binfords.

  11. Truth is killin' me... says:

    All the b****in’ and moanin’ from the ones that drink and drive on a regular. Stay home and get drunk. Don’t put my life in jeopardy or get a taxi. Dum dums.

    • Herb says:

      I guess no-one on here understands the article as written, the Police are not going to be stopping anyone at roadblocks to test them, it will be used ONLY if you have been in an accident and are considered to have had a drink or two, Read the part with regards to Constitutional Rights as to Freedom of Movement as advised by the Attorney Generals Office.

    • Herb says:

      If Police have reasonable suspicion the you may be under the influence, like driving erratically etc, then they can lawfully stop you, remember they have to have Reasonable Cause to stop anyone.

      • cottereaux says:

        “like driving erratically” – seriously? how many places in Bermuda are the roads straight and level for more than 50 yards?

        Reasonable Cause is was the police say it is.

  12. serengeti says:

    That’s great.
    What is going to be used to test for people driving under the influence of drugs?

  13. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh dear, there will be much hooting & howling about this one.

    As the song goes, Bermudians love to drink. The thing is, how much is too much? It is not like we are getting fall down staggering drunk then getting in our cars & driving on 60mph highways.

    Who has not been legaly drunk & managed to drive home without incident more than a few times? Guilty, Guilty, Guilty here.

    Would not do it while driving away. The consequences are too great in a crash. Also, there is a zero tolerance in many jurisdictions. Fail the breathalizer & your car is towed & off to jail you go.

  14. cottereaux says:

    Drager Alcotest 7510
    Calibration needed: every 6 months – send unit back to factory – cost unknown – $$
    Warranty: 1 year warranty
    Estimated Cost:
    $1,650 on special, regular price $1,800.
    $1,900 on special with GPS, regular price $2,050.
    Officer Training: Cost unknown – $$$$
    Mouthpiece replacements: Cost unknown – $

    September 18, 2013. Police officers in New Jersey can continue using Alcotest devices on drunken-driving suspects despite software flaws that have gone uncorrected for five years, the state Supreme Court ruled today. (Draeger AlcoTest 7110 MKIII-C – Evidential device).

    As to the analysis of the code: What Base One Technologies further found when the source code was analyzed is astounding. After studying the code and using several industry benchmarks for comparison, the technicians at Base One identified a total of 19,400 potential errors in the code! Their summary recommendation is as follows:

    “There is no doubt that the Supreme Court should declare this machine to be unreliable.”

    In a different case (undated) won by defendant: Attorney pointed out that the officer who administered the Alcotest did not follow proper procedures. He never changed the mouth piece between tests and failed to observe the required 20 minute observation period required prior to giving the test.

  15. Truth is killin' me... says:

    If you choose to have more than one drink and then drive down the road…that’s on you if you get caught. You are your own worst enemy!