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Police defend breathalysers' reliability

The Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Police Ministry, Auapaau Logoitino Filipo, said there has been a drop in drunk driving numbers and defended the reliability of breathalysers used at traffic stops. 

Auapaau said that the breathalysers - which measure a driver's blood alcohol content - employed by traffic officers at weekend road blocks have been certified by an expert in Australia.

“What I can say is that our breathalysers are working. As of yesterday, our breathalysers are okay. I can’t give you the brand name but I can say that the certification for our breathalysers is valid,” Aupaau said during an interview with the Observer.

The Samoa Observer inquired about the effectiveness of the devices used by Police after receiving reports of machines failing to record readings after motorists blew into them multiple times at roadblocks.

The Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Police Ministry, Auapaau Logoitino Filipo, said there has been a drop in drunk driving numbers and defended the reliability of breathylysers used at traffic stops. 

“The breathalysers, the machines [...] are required to have a compliance certificate and it states that they must be used in a year and afterward, the calibration must be renewed,” the Acting Deputy Commissioner said. 

“Our machines are sent to Australia for certification.”

He said checking the validity of the breathalysers was a priority.

“We have to make sure they are valid before they are used because if someone is charged (with drunk driving) and they are brought before the court, it would be a waste of time and a waste of work by Police,” Auapaau said.

He added that the Police roadblocks were proving to be very effective.

“Our roadblocks have been very effective but the point we want to send out to the people is to stop drinking and driving. It is not safe – it is not safe for drivers or pedestrians. We don’t want anyone killed. But I think the public is getting the message we are trying to send out,” said Auapaau.

“There has been a drop in the numbers as far as drunken driving (suspects) in terms of our roadblocks on Friday and Saturday.”

Auapaau said they have zero tolerance for Police Officers who drink and drive.

“What I can say is we have zero tolerance for Police Officers who drink and drive. If you get caught, you will go through the same process as members of the community. We aren’t ducking from doing our jobs,” he said. 

“So if you break the law, that means, you go through the same process as the people who are being brought in by Police.”



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