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Breath testers to be reintroduced

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/05/2016
Police officers breath testing motorists © SNPA/Martin Hunter Police officers breath testing motorists

Breath screening devices that were withdrawn after one in five were found to be inaccurate are set to be reintroduced by New Zealand Police.

Around 400 Draeger 7510 handheld devices were withdrawn by police in October last year after 17 per cent of machines were found to have a malfunction that affected alcohol readings.

Court action against 19 people prosecuted as a result of the fault was also dropped.

Police will reintroduce half of the devices in test mode from Tuesday after its German manufacturer identified and corrected the issue.

An independent New Zealand expert agreed that the devices had been fixed.

"This means that in the interim they will not be used for any evidential testing," national road policing manager Superintendent Steve Greally said on Monday.

Evidential mode is required to prove a drink-driving offence.

The devices will be evaluated for several months before they are retested for accuracy.

If police are satisfied they're working properly they will reintroduce all 400 devices in evidential mode in August.

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