Illinois Cops Use Special DWI Flashlight

Illinois FlashlightPolice across the state of Illinois have a new tool to detect drunk driving. High tech flashlights.

Though they look like the regular police issue flashlights they are equipped with special sensors that can detect alcohol. Operational when within a foot of a driver suspected driving while intoxicated (DWI), a green light indicates no or a low presence of alcohol. A red light means a strong odor of alcohol.

The devices do not indicate blood alcohol content and the findings are not admissible in court. They are intended to provide a reference point for police when trying to determine if a driver should be subjected to field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer.

The flashlights each cost $750 and the Illinois Department of Transportation has purchased and distributed 100 of them to police departments.

The flashlights will be put to use during the state’s 17 day crackdown on drunk driving this coming Labor Day holiday. Law enforcement agencies have authorized 2,500 hours of overtime for that effort and have planned sobriety checkpoints at unspecified locations and saturation patrols that focus exclusively on DWI detection. According to Department of Transportation spokesman Eugene Brenning, the campaign, paid for with federal funds, will be "the largest crackdown we’ve ever had in the state of Illinois over Labor Day weekend."

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