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SARASOTA, Florida — A newspaper says Florida law enforcement officials paid for employees to get drunk to test the reliability of an alcohol breathalyzer machine.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shelled out $330 on Jim Beam whiskey and other booze in October and invited 15 employees to drink up. The point, according to the FDLE, was to test the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 8000 machine, which has been under attack in the courts as inaccurate.
The employees blew into the machines at the FDLE's Tallahassee office, then had their blood drawn and sent to a lab.
An expert at the agency pronounced the machines accurate, but others question if the test had any real scientific validity or whether it proves what it was intended to.
Originally posted by Afterthought
I realize that this machine needed to be tested, but 15 employees needed $330 worth of liquor?
Something doesn't sound right here.
I would think that a proper experiment would consist of one person having one drink, another person having two drinks, and so on and so forth to see if the machine was reading the results according to how much was consumed. I would think that this study would've only needed two bottles of whiskey tops. What would that be? $50 or so?
A Midland Park cop who volunteered to get tipsy during a police class to illustrate the perils of drunk-driving later became a real-life example when he crashed a four-wheeler in Wyckoff and was arrested for driving while intoxicated, authorities said Friday.
The $8,000 study, put together in three days, was part of a broader push to save the reputation of the embattled Intoxilyzer 8000, FDLE records show. And in December, FDLE's alcohol testing guru Laura Barfield came to a Sarasota County courtroom for a hearing and presented results of the drunken employee experiment to a panel of judges, saying it proved the machines were accurate.
But the study might not even be worth the $330 bar bill.
At the hearing, judges deciding the fate of the machine in Sarasota and Manatee counties seemed skeptical of even considering the study, in part because bloodwork was still at the lab and the examination was not yet finalized.
I wonder how they got home from the party? Did they all have to bring a designated driver? Did tax payers fund their taxi ride home?