For Immediate Release
Maggie Thompson, 785-296-5795
In an effort that has involved more than 200 local law enforcement agencies and 4,400 officers, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) is completing the roll-out of a new impaired driving detection technology through its Breath Alcohol Program.
“This was a significant effort,” said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. “But thanks to the outstanding efforts of our staff and local partners, it has been a worthwhile investment in keeping Kansas travelers safe.”
KDHE’s Breath Alcohol Program is responsible for the certification of agencies, instruments and officers who test drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. Starting in July 2007, program staff have overseen the purchase, certification and distribution of over 200 Intoxilyzer 8000 instruments across the state. With the help of 20 trained local law enforcement officers, the program has so far recertified and newly certified approximately 4,400 operators for breath testing.
The Intoxilyzer 8000 features the latest advancements in breath alcohol detection, ensuring that every driver is receiving an accurate breath test. In addition, the instruments are more mobile, enabling law enforcement officers to run a higher volume of impaired driving checks. The instruments are also more user-friendly, decreasing the marginal incidence of operator error and ensuring greater viability in the prosecution of offenders.
Purchasing the new instruments has allowed the breath alcohol program to provide new instruments to local agencies that previously didn’t have one, including police departments in Winfield, Paola, and Lansing, and the Atchison Sheriff’s Department.
Local law enforcement agencies rely on KDHE to generate affidavits on instrument compliance for hearings, and to provide testimony in DUI cases and at administrative proceedings. Each year, breath alcohol staff certify up to 600 new operators and inspects and recertifies every instrument.
Future projects for the Breath Alcohol Program include providing remote access to instruments for data transfer, statistical analysis on breath alcohol levels and expanded certification classes. KDHE remains committed to meeting the needs and expectations of its local law enforcement partners through strong channels of communication and customer service.