Breathalyser used worldwide, court hears

2011-05-24 20:39

kalahari.com

  • Transport
    Suitable for ages 8 to 10 years, this series offers a comprehensive approach to give young readers... Now R78.00
    buy now

Cape Town - Dräger breath-testing equipment was marketed worldwide and modified to suit the needs of individual countries, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

No country in the entire world had ever rejected the equipment as unreliable, Dräger expert Jurgen Sohege said.

Sohege was the first of a number of experts called to the witness stand in a Dräger test case involving motorist Clifford Joseph Hendricks.

Hendricks has pleaded not guilty to driving while the alcohol vapour in his exhaled breath was 0.95mg. The maximum allowed is 0.24.

He has claimed that the Dräger Alcotest used in South Africa is unreliable and therefore unconstitutional.

Sohege told Judge Nathan Erasmus and assessor Sasha Curic that he had worked for the Dräger company for 20 years, and that the breath-testing equipment was first introduced in the United States in the 50s.

It measured the concentration of alcohol in the breath, he said.

He said drunk-driving suspects had to blow into a tube that formed part of the equipment, which was designed to detect gas concentration in the breath.

The apparatus analysed the gas concentration and then indicated the alcohol level in a suspect's breath.

Sohege said part of his function was to research international medical, safety and gas-detection practices.

There were ongoing discussions about whether Dräger equipment was suitable for testing the consumption of alcohol in relation to the liquor-related carnage on the roads.

"Dräger equipment is used widely throughout the world, and I am an expert in this field," he testified.

"When questions come up concerning breath-alcohol tests, we are obliged to answer as best we can."

What was required of Dräger equipment differed from country to country.

Competence

In Tuesday's proceedings, a document containing prosecuting guidelines for "evidentiary breath testing" was handed to the court.

According to the document, the equipment may only be operated by a registered and appointed traffic or police officer.

The traffic or police officer had to have passed an operator's course for the particular model of apparatus in use, and had to be in possession of an operator's certificate of competence.

According to the document, the equipment had to comply with the National Road Traffic Act, and had to be calibrated at least every six months.

A certified copy of the calibration certificate had to be available on site.

Equipment that was outside the six-month period had to be re-calibrated before it could be used for prosecution purposes.

The hearing continues on Wednesday.

- SAPA

Read more on:    transport
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Cope: Zuma must listen to religious leaders

Cope has called on President Jacob Zuma to listen to religious leaders calling for him to come clean on the Nkandla saga.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 12:58 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
  • Monday Somerset West - 12:58 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.