Police trial alcohol tester in Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 20:00 12 August 2010

Councillor Chris Gibbings demonstrates the Alcoblow tester

Councillor Chris Gibbings demonstrates the Alcoblow tester

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Handy new breath tester on trial in East Devon

A NEW device for detecting alcohol on people’s breath is being used in Sidmouth and other parts of East Devon.

Councillor Chris Gibbings, licensing and enforcement chairman at East Devon District Council, demonstrated the AlcoBlow at its recent full council meeting.

Not only does the device, which looks like a yellow truncheon, detect alcohol within three seconds, it also detects alcohol in liquids.

“Community Safety Officer Gerry Moore bought one out of the community budget for the community police to use with kids to check drinks,” said Mr Gibbings.

“Councillor Jim Knight (Seaton) offered to buy another one out of his community budget (and bought two).”

Other county councillors have followed suit having seen the potential of the device.

The threat of harm to children through alcohol is one of the four prime reasons for the need for licensing, said Mr Gibbings.

“Only the police use it. A number of clubs have got them for under 18s nights to stop children entering the club when they are tanked up before going in. It is a win, win situation.”

He said alcohol could be detected in soft drinks with the AlcoBlow, which costs around £200.

The police have grounds to use the device if they believe under-age youngsters have been drinking, even though they may be carrying soft drinks bottles.

“There is no way to know at the moment,” said Mr Gibbings. “This is another device to fight anti-social behaviour and under-age drinking.”

He said Mr Moore aimed to get more of the testers for the whole of Devon.

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