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The Sniffer: Alcohol Detecting Flashlights

Beverage News

D.U.I. Enforcement

This one has been out for a few years now, but with the holidays coming up this may be something to keep in mind. If you get pulled over for a routine traffic stop these holidays you may think nothing is out of the ordinary. Perhaps not, but police have been employing the use of alcohol detecting flashlights more frequently.

P.A.S. IV Passive Alcohol Sensor, The Sniffer

The P.A.S. IV Passive Alcohol Sensor or “The Sniffer” as it is called, contains a pump that when activated will such air out of your car. The air is then processed by an electrochemical fuel sensor which is especially designed for detecting alcohol molecules in the air. So, what does this mean for you?

If you have been drinking and you come across one of these little guys, you may be in a bit of trouble. However, the device does have some inherent flaws. If you have passengers in the car that have been consuming alcohol then the device will pick it up and you might get questioned for it. If you use mouthwash, cologne, have spilled or broken a bottle/case in your car, “the sniffer” will pick up the scent. Because of this, many people feel that this tool is an unfair device for predicting if a driver is drunk or not. You may be required to take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer even if you have not consumed any alcohol.

So what do you think out there? Do you think that this device is fair/unfair, and should it be employed as a tool of law enforcement?


  1. Jeff | Saturday, December 13, 2008

    I think its cool – whatever helps them do their job. Keep the streets safe.

    Just sounds like the technology needs to be tweaked and advanced.

  2. Brian | Saturday, December 13, 2008

    Why use this over a breathalyzer that will only test the driver?

    Cool idea though. I really need to invest in a breathalyzer for myself, I can’t risk getting a DUI .. especially with being in the military because not only do I face punishment from the state, but also the military.

    They should stick with what they got.

  3. Brian | Saturday, December 13, 2008

    Also I’m pretty sure you have to right to refuse any sort of sobriety test .. although you will still be charged, and it seems like this would conflict with that right to refuse tests.

    I don’t recommend it refusing, however, because you will be taken to jail regardless!

  4. Mutineer Magazine | Saturday, December 13, 2008

    @Brian, Do you have an iPod or iPhone? Just grab one of these, http://www.mutineermagazine.com/blog/2008/12/ultimate-ipod-accessorization-ibreath/

  5. JJ Bagley | Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    I love new technology, but if I get jerked out of my car because I have cologne on I’m going to be pissed. I see lawsuits around the corner for the first cop with the misfortune of pulling a wealthy business man out of his car for using mouthwash.

  6. Maria | Wednesday, December 31, 2008

    Just another reason for the stupid PIGS in our little town to fuck with us. They don’t care who you are or what have done or not done they are going to try to get you any way they can. I hate those bastards. HPT cops suck.

  7. AlexanderGreat | Saturday, January 3, 2009


    Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!…

  8. The Sniffer – Sneak Cop Tool, Breathalyzer Flashlight | GadgetKing.com | Monday, March 23, 2009

    […] [Via] […]

  9. Loki | Thursday, April 15, 2010

    This shit has to stop, its against our rights.
    How long until someone kills a cop in fear of their life from police brutality? How long before we are all treated as criminals so that the system can tax us more? How many more deaths are there going to be before someone stands up and says THIS HAS TO STOP!

    The police agencies are a crime syndicate all to themselves.

    DO NOT THINK for a moment that just because they can’t use it in court that they will not do it.

    Cops will bug your phone, follow you, invade e-mails, question neighbors, take samples of DNA / blood when can.


  10. Jason | Monday, November 7, 2011

    To the comments from Loki and Maria…REALLY?! The “stupid pigs” are the reason you can sleep safely at night. I love how some people always blame the ones that are trying to make society a better place…and never blame the one staring back at them in the mirror. “It is the police officer’s fault…it is the bar’s fault…it is my parent’s fault…” If the person wasn’t doing anything illegal in the first place, they wouldn’t have “probable cause”, would they?! Think about it before you speak! Why would anybody have anything to worry about if they weren’t doing things that were illegal. Stop the blame game, grow up, and change your behavior! As for the alcohol detection flashlight…LOVE IT! Whatever it takes to keep the roads and community safe for me and my children.

  11. Steven | Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    It’s hard to believe how naive many of the comments on police and DUI here are. Police assume everyone is guilty until proven innocent and their job promotions depend on the number of arrests and convictions they produce. Police routinely lie in court and even plant evidence on a “perp” if it will make their case because as far as their concerned the perp is just getting what they deserve.

    I saw 1st hand how corrupt cops work behind the scenes at the LAPD when I worked for the City of Los Angeles. Google the “Rampart Scandal” The LA County Sheriffs are involved in a similar scandal right now at the LA County Jail. , look at the You Tube posts on DUI stops/check points. Educate yourselves.

    I was falsely arrested for DUI by 2 corrupt San Diego Sheriff deputies waiting outside a popular night club at 2 am who assumed anyone leaving would be an easy mark. They lied about everything on the police report. Fortunately I hadn’t been drinking that night and the case was eventually thrown out of court but I still spent the night in jail, had my drivers license suspended and had to pay an attorney.

    If you think DUI laws are primarily about “protecting” the public you’re an idiot. Follow the $. Your first DUI conviction will cost $25K-$30K and turn your life upside down for a year. On top of that even if your blood alcohol level is under the legal limit they will still try to convict you of driving while impaired. So if a cop asks if you’ve had anything to drink don’t say ANYTHING, don’t do any field sobriety tests or portable breathalyzer they’re a set up and you’re not required to do either by law, just give them your ID documents and ask for your attorney otherwise am I free to go?

    Police are not supposed to hold you unless they have Probable Cause a crimes been committed so if they ask and you admit you had a beer or glass of wine you just gave the Police probable cause to arrest you as well as a confession that will be used against you in court. So don’t worry about being arrested, more importantly think ahead to your day in court and politely keep your mouth shut and always assume the cops are recording every word you say. There’s no such thing as “off the record”.

  12. California Serf | Friday, January 31, 2014

    This is just another easy, hi-tech infringement of our civil liberties. Some benefits will come from abusing our rights and liberties, of course. But there will be plenty of downside.

    To me, the downside is the dealbreaker.

    When was the last time you remember an infringement on our rights not growing?! They always start out small, and then expand.

    The benefits don’t outweigh the negatives, for me.

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