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
SHARE:

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

 
/News
 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

The basics of BASE jumping
Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be in the mood to philosophize and socialize and expand your mind on various discussions and group activities. You could...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.