portable breath tests key in reducing fatal, serious alcohol-related crashes
Frankfort, Ind. – With the award of a $1,796 grant from the Clinton County Drug and Alcohol Coalition, Frankfort police will have four new state-of-the-art portable breath tests to deter future impaired drivers from the risk of apprehension and continue to keep Frankfort’s crash rate at zero for alcohol-related fatalities.
According to Deputy Police Chief Scott Shoemaker who pursued the successful grant award, the funds will allow officers to have the proper, calibrated equipment necessary to confirm the presence of alcohol after standardized field sobriety tests are conducted with alleged impaired drivers.
“We continue to receive $14,000 grants from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to conduct high visibility patrols in Clinton County. These patrols have resulted in hundreds of traffic stops and multiple alcohol-related arrests.
“The widely-used Alco-Sensor FST portable breath tests provide additional safety features for officers, including that the offender’s breath is blown away from the officer administering the test. The upgraded equipment will result in safer arrests for our officers.
“We are grateful to the Clinton County Drug and Alcohol Coalition for partnering with us in providing the very tools needed to convict drunk drivers while providing for the enhanced safety of our officers. Even one fatal alcohol-related crash is too many,” Shoemaker said. “Drinking and driving does not go undetected here. Frankfort has had zero fatal crashes involving alcohol in 2017 and with the use of the equipment this grant provides, we intend to keep it that way.”
In addition to using the portable breath tests during high visibility patrols, police officers also can use them to test for alcohol consumption at underage drinking parties and with those who are intoxicated in public but are not operating a vehicle.
According to Shoemaker, Frankfort police will provide access to the portable breath tests to area law enforcement agencies, including the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and Clinton County Probation.
The department currently uses the Alco-Sensor III and plans to replace at least 15 of these over the next two years with the Alco-Sensor FST model.