Benton County Sheriff’s Office Obtains Transportable Intoxilyzer

BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- The Benton County Sheriff's Office is now the only law enforcement agency in the state with a device that can get a legal reading on a drunk driver's blood alcohol concentration at the scene.

Before they got this new device, they would have to bring the drunk driving suspect back to the sheriff's office to get a BAC reading that's admissible in court.

The machine is called a transportable intoxilyzer, it actually goes in the front seat of a deputy's car.  It records a drivers BAC by printing out a report in just seconds. Before this, the Sheriff's Office used a smaller hand-held breathalyzer that also gave a BAC, but that reading isn't admissible in court. That caused the deputy to take the suspect to the jail to get another reading.

"It might be forty-five minutes to an hour from here to here, and all the while this person could be losing his level of BAC," said Deputy Mike Pitts.

He says the new device will allow for a more accurate reading because they will be able to administer it right at the scene.

The sheriff's office got this $10,000 device through a grant from the Arkansas Office of Alcohol Testing. After one year, it will belong to the sheriff's office and they will be responsible for the up keep of the machine.