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FDLE hosted booze party to test breathalyzer machine

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posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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FDLE hosted booze party to test breathalyzer machine


www.orlandosentinel.com

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.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.herald tribune.com




posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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So, this is what they do with tax payer money?

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.


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?

The Herald-Tribune article goes into much more detail and says that judges are even skeptical of considering the study since bloodwork results weren't even in yet.

www.orlandosentinel.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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Sounds like an awesome job to me! Get paid to drink some beer and blow into a machine. Where do you sign up for these things?



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by mileslong54
 


No kidding.
I would think that this "experiment" would've been done in more sterile and controlled conditions.
Another question I have is why $330 worth of brand name liquor? The machine doesn't pick up knock off brands? Why did they need so many people for the "study"? You would think they'd only need 5-7 people to get an accurate reading? I just hope the people taking the readings weren't drunk, too.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:13 AM
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LOL. Well how else are you going to test the machine.
330 bucks is nothing compared to shelling out millions in lawsuits over a machine that was never tested.

That's a good use of the money if you ask me.
Funny though.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by grey580
 


I don't think we're getting the whole story.
Sure, the booze was only $330, but this was conducted on company time, so I'm sure they received their hourly pay rate. Then, I'm wondering how much it was to test each blood work sample.
We're looking at more than $330 in total costs.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:15 AM
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Small potatoes really. I don't know how expensive florida traffic tickets are, but I bet there are 4 speeders who won't get off the hook this month. There, paid for.

edit on 1/19/2012 by MeesterB because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:23 AM
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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?



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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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?


Oh come on. You're pretending like you wouldn't be a little bit excited if someone said, "hey, afterthought, the new Breathalyzers are in! We are going to test em, you in?" You sound like the fun-police.

Edit: Your testing method isn't really needed, nor correct, because they all weigh differently. They probably drank until they were drunk, got the reading, and took blood samples to test against. It works if the reading matches the lab results.
edit on 1/19/2012 by MeesterB because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 

IMHO.... for once this is a good way to use tax payer money. Make sure the tool that you are using to blame other people of drunk driving works. $330 (or even $1,000) is chump change. I vote that all PD's do this to understand what they are using in the field.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by MeesterB
 


Yeah, I'd get excited about an after work party, but I consider myself to be very professional when it comes to studies and experiments. Plus, I'm only 83 pounds, so I don't think I'd need even half of one bottle for just myself.

How do you know they all weighed differently? The article only stated that 15 were chosen. Considering they have stats on all their employees, they may have chosen them according to weight. I'm also wondering if half were male and half were female.

All I'm saying is that a scientific study is in order for trying to determine if a piece of machinery works or not. In order to see if it produces accurate results, you would need a controlled environment. This environment didn't appear to be controlled.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:46 AM
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reply to post by CORN IS NUTS
 


Yes, but they also test tasers out on officers and this doesn't prevent them from abusing this equipment.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:51 AM
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I wouldnt drink with co-workers. I dont want my work world overlapping my leisure world in any manner, shape or form.

They pay for cops to get drunk pretty regularly.

Here's a nice one where a cop got drunk to illustrate the dangers of drunk driving.

Then was subsequently arrested for hauling ass around his neighborhood on an ATV.


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.
link

Can't make this stuff up.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:54 AM
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I believe this is the most important part of the article:

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.


The "study" was thrown together, cost $8000 to test a machine that already has its reputation on the line. Their guru is even testifying in a courtroom before the blood work has even been examined and the results compared with what the machine's results were.

It appears that many DUI cases may be thrown out if the FDLE is unable to prove the machine works as it should. Like I stated, if they are wanting to prove the machine works right, they need controlled conditions, not a party.
edit on 19-1-2012 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 


Hmmm..... Well, considering the fact that my 2 favorite bottles, (The Macallan 18, and the Glenlivet 21), cost, respectively $152 and $147 each in Washington State, $330 for 15 people sounds like a reasonable price. Although, I personally wouldn't ingest the kind of rotgut that must have been, even if I'd been on the clock being paid to drink it!



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 12:07 PM
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reply to post by ZEROZEE0
 


That's some expensive taste you got there!


But, considering they drank Jim Beam, here's a price run down:
www.nextag.com...
750ml is $16 to $18. Considering there was other kinds of alcohol there as well as Doritos to keep their stomachs full, let's take $100 out for these extrenuous items.
$200/$18 = 11 750ml bottles of Jim Beam

That's a lot of bottles for 15 people. I wonder what happened to the bottles that didn't get opened?



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 12:16 PM
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I was a detox charge nurse from 1992 to 1998 in a college town.

Another nurse and I went golfing one day after the night shift and then went and had a few cocktails. By 6 P.M. we were pretty lit and decided to cruise up to the unit and test ourselves.

It almost cost us both our jobs, thank you nursing shortage.

I see the differences, but we did it for the same reason. We had frequent fliers (regular admits) coming in registering .45 and up on a weekly basis, some even blew over .50. Since medicine says you should be dead with that much ETOH on board we doubted the accuracy of our intoxilizer.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 




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?


That's easy, they just flash the badge if they get pulled over and say "I'm undercover" or some other B.S.
Seen it done.

The way to calibrate an instrument is to use certified test samples in a controlled lab environment, in this case sealed sources of ethanol/air of a known percentage. Then collect instrument readouts with at least 4 points of % concentrations (at the recommended volume through the meter), perform a linear regression and see if the correlation (linearity of known concentration vs. instrument readout) approaches a statutorily accepted value e.g. 0.99+....

There should be regularly published reports, conducted by independent labs, of the accuracy of all instrumentation used by prosecutors to obtain DWI convictions. To be used by defense attorneys and civil rights advocates.

Do most LEO offices have this capability? Good question. Decide for yourself. Maybe that's why they throw parties like this, so they can convince the jurors on DWI case that they are performing "due diligence" and scientific testing.

Maybe that's why the DA in Bexar county TX has implemented "No Refusal" for breathalyzer at all times. Seems that if you question the officer's capability to record a reading of a breathalyzer, or the calibration of such device, you can be hauled into a van and have blood forcibly removed for another type of analysis. The calibrations of such also being subject to question in a court.

I would like to hear about how this "no refusal" is being implemented with people who do not want needles in their arms. Maybe leeches, or hack off a finger?

I am 100% against DWI. But I am 110% against cops hanging around outside of events like San Antonio's Fiesta and filling the city/county's coffers with the huge amounts of cash that can be had with even a 1st time DWI conviction. Based on arrests using possibly faulty or mis-calibrated equipment.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by 1SawSomeThings
 


Thanks for outlining the proper protocol for this "test".
Seeing that it was conducted at the FDLE office, this is certainly opening the results for the ability for them to have been tainted. You're right in stating that the study should have been done in an independent lab where the environment would be controlled.

I wouldn't be surprised if we saw several DUI convictions overturned in the near future. Since the panel of judges weren't satisfied by the (incomplete) findings, it doesn't appear that the machine's reputation has been restored and probably won't be.



posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by Afterthought
 


excuse me. I should've said, "they all metabolize alcohol differently."

Of all the things wrong in this world, this gets to you?



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