Register Staff Report
Capt. Greg Crockett, commander of Kentucky State Police Post 7 in Richmond, presented Madison Sheriff Mike Coyle with four Intoximeter PBT devices in a Wednesday ceremony at the county courthouse annex.
Intoximeters, which provide a quick, preliminary indication of a subject’s blood alcohol content, are to be used in the sheriff’s efforts to combat underage drinking and driving, Coyle said.
While the sheriff’s department already had four Intoximeters, eight will allow practically every patrol to carry one of the devices or be able to call for one from a short distance, he added.
The KSP is state administrator for Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) grants, with which the Intoximeters were purchased, Crockett said. The grants are funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
As the home of four high schools and two colleges, Madison County has a large population of young drivers and a high potential for underage drinking issues, the sheriff noted.
With warmer weather certain to put more drivers on the road and the approach of proms and graduations, the extra Intoximeters will aid stepped-up DUI enforcement that the sheriff has plannedfor the coming months, Coyle said.
“During my 35 years in law enforcement I have seen too many people decide to drink and drive. Driving under the influence is one of the most irresponsible acts that any citizen can make,” the sheriff said.
Under state law, drivers age 21 and older cannot be convicted of DUI unless their blood alcohol content is at least .07 percent. For younger drivers, however, any alcohol content is illegal, Coyle pointed out.
In addition to stepped up enforcement, the new equipment will also be used to educate young drivers about the law’s zero alcohol tolerance for them, both Coyle and Crockett said.
“EUDL grants fund activities that specifically target the ability of youth to gain access to alcohol,” Crockett said. “Kentucky’s youth are the future of the Commonwealth and we must utilize every effort available to protect this most valuable asset.”
The ceremony was attended by Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes, Circuit Court Clerk Darlene Snyder and County Clerk Kenny Barger, as sheriff’s deputies and state troopers.
KSP Trooper Robert Purdy demonstrated how an Intoximeter works by having Barnes blow into one of the devices. The mayor registered no alcohol in his blood.