MI Senate Introduces Bill Requiring Breathalyzers Be Installed In Bars

On June 1st, Sen. Bert Johnson (D) introduced Senate Bill No. 399.  This Bill, if it becomes law, will mandate that all bars and restaurants that have a liquor license must install self-operated breathalyzer machines available to customers.  Read the full text of Bill No. 399 here  http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(3o5tc455rhintfb0qci4w455))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=2011-sb-0399

The breathalyzer machine will most likely be similar to the small handheld device police use as a roadside test on suspected drunk drivers.  Hand-held breathalyzers, while valuable to an officer attempting to establish probable cause for a drunk driving arrest, are generally not admissible in court.  This is because the results of a handheld breathalyzer can be grossly inflated.  In analyzing a subject’s breath sample, the breathalyzer’s internal computer is making the assumption that the alcohol in the breath sample came from alveolar air (air exhaled from deep within the lungs). A very tiny amount of alcohol from the mouth, throat or stomach can have a significant impact on the breath-alcohol reading.  Many other factors can also contribute to a false or inaccurate reading.
Generally speaking, the results of a handheld breathalyzer are not admissible in court to prove the amount of alcohol in one’s body for driving under the influence.  So, why does the Senate want to require all businesses with a liquor licence to install one?  There is no language in the proposed Senate Bill explaining who will pay for the machines or how the State will ensure compliance.
What do you think of this proposed law? 
Will it reduce drunk drivers; or, will it be used by bar-goers to see who “wins” for being the most drunk?
Will bars and restaurant owners be held more liable for over-serving customers?
Is this just another way for the State to control private businesses?
An arrest is not a conviction!
If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, contact Dan Ambrose at 248-624-5500

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Filed under Constitutional Rights, Drunk Driving/OWI/DUI/OWVI/DWI

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