Sussex Police use booze-detecting 'wands'

The Argus: CRIME FIGHT TOOL: The alcohol-detecting wand CRIME FIGHT TOOL: The alcohol-detecting wand

Police are hoping to magic away the problem of underage drinking with a new alcohol-detecting ‘wand’.

The ‘Alcoblow’ wands are designed to be waved in the faces of young people in the street to see if they have been drinking.

The wand, which cost about £300 each, was piloted by police in the Wealden district for three months and proved such a success that four more have now been bought by the Safer Wealden Partnership.

Sergeant Howard Neville, who is based in Hailsham, said: “It’s proved particularly helpful in one area and that’s underage drinking.

“We have used it with teenagers perceived to be drinking in the streets to see whether they are or not and we have also used it with young people at youth events or under-age club nights, to reassure parents.”

The long yellow plastic wand is made by breathalyser specialists Lion Laboratories Ltd and has a simple traffic light system.

Will the booze wants stop young people drinking on the streets? Tell us what you think below.

Comments (17)

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12:57pm Fri 19 Mar 10

cheezburger says...

Alcoblow? ...must resist urge...

Sounds easier than a breathalyser. Is it cheaper. And is it accurate? Could it be relied on in court for a drunk driver?
Alcoblow? ...must resist urge... Sounds easier than a breathalyser. Is it cheaper. And is it accurate? Could it be relied on in court for a drunk driver? cheezburger

1:13pm Fri 19 Mar 10

kumquat says...

I liked the argus question at the end "Will the booze wants stop young people drinking on the streets?" Great spelling mistake.
I liked the argus question at the end "Will the booze wants stop young people drinking on the streets?" Great spelling mistake. kumquat

1:20pm Fri 19 Mar 10

Ming says...

isnt is normally obvious when teens have been drinking? Why spend £300 on a Booze Wand/Want when eyes are usually sufficient. I dont get this, surely its the lack of punishment thats the problem, not the detection of alcohol useage?
isnt is normally obvious when teens have been drinking? Why spend £300 on a Booze Wand/Want when eyes are usually sufficient. I dont get this, surely its the lack of punishment thats the problem, not the detection of alcohol useage? Ming

1:28pm Fri 19 Mar 10

kumquat says...

Ming wrote:
isnt is normally obvious when teens have been drinking? Why spend £300 on a Booze Wand/Want when eyes are usually sufficient. I dont get this, surely its the lack of punishment thats the problem, not the detection of alcohol useage?
Can't really punish someone for alcohol usage before detecting it. "The eyes" isn't going to really stand up in court is it?
[quote][p][bold]Ming[/bold] wrote: isnt is normally obvious when teens have been drinking? Why spend £300 on a Booze Wand/Want when eyes are usually sufficient. I dont get this, surely its the lack of punishment thats the problem, not the detection of alcohol useage?[/p][/quote]Can't really punish someone for alcohol usage before detecting it. "The eyes" isn't going to really stand up in court is it? kumquat

2:01pm Fri 19 Mar 10

Granny says...

I bet the sale of extra strong peppermints will increase.
I bet the sale of extra strong peppermints will increase. Granny

2:06pm Fri 19 Mar 10

corruptive says...

The wand is actually designed to detect excess levels of menthol, Granny!

Security word: mint-spew
The wand is actually designed to detect excess levels of menthol, Granny! Security word: mint-spew corruptive

2:37pm Fri 19 Mar 10

Spanners says...

Seems to get somewhat mixed reviews from other forces/uses. I'll admit that this is from a rather quick scan of the net I just performed so be intersting to see what sussex police make of them. To answer Cheezburger re the drunk driver point I suspect the answer is no. Reason being the manufacturer's own blurb talks about "pre-screening" which doesnt sound like it would stand up in court. Here is the quote "The Alcoblow® is a fully portable, hand-held instrument originally designed for use by the police at road blocks for rapid pre-screening of drivers for the presence of alcohol on the breath"
Seems to get somewhat mixed reviews from other forces/uses. I'll admit that this is from a rather quick scan of the net I just performed so be intersting to see what sussex police make of them. To answer Cheezburger re the drunk driver point I suspect the answer is no. Reason being the manufacturer's own blurb talks about "pre-screening" which doesnt sound like it would stand up in court. Here is the quote "The Alcoblow® is a fully portable, hand-held instrument originally designed for use by the police at road blocks for rapid pre-screening of drivers for the presence of alcohol on the breath" Spanners

4:59pm Fri 19 Mar 10

Old Dog says...

All policing seems to be by magic these days, so why not let 'em have wands?
All policing seems to be by magic these days, so why not let 'em have wands? Old Dog

5:08pm Fri 19 Mar 10

yorkie44 says...

It is hardly going to "magic away" the problem. It is only going to show how bad the problem really is. A solution to the problem is still needed and we know we need this with or without the wand.
It is hardly going to "magic away" the problem. It is only going to show how bad the problem really is. A solution to the problem is still needed and we know we need this with or without the wand. yorkie44

6:22pm Fri 19 Mar 10

bibble says...

The poolice hve no authority to wave this thing in anybody's face, nor is there any legal requirement to cooperate with such a thing.
.
I would simply keep turning my face away.
The poolice hve no authority to wave this thing in anybody's face, nor is there any legal requirement to cooperate with such a thing. . I would simply keep turning my face away. bibble

7:55pm Fri 19 Mar 10

Spx says...

So what
So what Spx

9:21pm Fri 19 Mar 10

RickH says...

bibble wrote:
The poolice hve no authority to wave this thing in anybody's face, nor is there any legal requirement to cooperate with such a thing. . I would simply keep turning my face away.
Can a child consent to such a thing. And without consent what is the legal basis/test for action?
[quote][p][bold]bibble[/bold] wrote: The poolice hve no authority to wave this thing in anybody's face, nor is there any legal requirement to cooperate with such a thing. . I would simply keep turning my face away.[/p][/quote]Can a child consent to such a thing. And without consent what is the legal basis/test for action? RickH

1:07am Sat 20 Mar 10

jon s says...

RickH wrote:
bibble wrote: The poolice hve no authority to wave this thing in anybody's face, nor is there any legal requirement to cooperate with such a thing. . I would simply keep turning my face away.
Can a child consent to such a thing. And without consent what is the legal basis/test for action?
Bibble,scuk my ckco.If the police have no right to wave it in your face ,tell them and spend the night in the cells!
[quote][p][bold]RickH[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bibble[/bold] wrote: The poolice hve no authority to wave this thing in anybody's face, nor is there any legal requirement to cooperate with such a thing. . I would simply keep turning my face away.[/p][/quote]Can a child consent to such a thing. And without consent what is the legal basis/test for action?[/p][/quote]Bibble,scuk my ckco.If the police have no right to wave it in your face ,tell them and spend the night in the cells! jon s

7:26am Sat 20 Mar 10

stan bailey says...

You didn't need a wand to tell the yobs were drunk in the early hours of this morning, they were screaming and shouting in the Preston Park area. they woke me up. I wouldn't want to wave the wand at them. I would like to do something else with it
You didn't need a wand to tell the yobs were drunk in the early hours of this morning, they were screaming and shouting in the Preston Park area. they woke me up. I wouldn't want to wave the wand at them. I would like to do something else with it stan bailey

10:51am Sat 20 Mar 10

PeteBrighton says...

Stan They weren't yobs drunk in Preston Park, they were Police ~ ask Bibble. Everything that gets done that's anti social is always the Police, never anyone else ~ ask Bibble.
Stan They weren't yobs drunk in Preston Park, they were Police ~ ask Bibble. Everything that gets done that's anti social is always the Police, never anyone else ~ ask Bibble. PeteBrighton

11:30am Sat 20 Mar 10

icansee says...

this magic wand does not prove anyone has been drinking
it is merely an indication that someone might have been
if the cops come across someone who might have been drinking, what are they gonna do next?
there was an indication last week in Crowborough that a restaurant owner had assaulted some youths who he caught stealing
he was arrested and cautioned
this was a mistake
get it wrong and then get someone else to sort it out later
this magic wand does not prove anyone has been drinking it is merely an indication that someone might have been if the cops come across someone who might have been drinking, what are they gonna do next? there was an indication last week in Crowborough that a restaurant owner had assaulted some youths who he caught stealing he was arrested and cautioned this was a mistake get it wrong and then get someone else to sort it out later icansee

1:48pm Sat 20 Mar 10

Old Ladys Gin says...

If someone shoved one of those things in my face, I'd be very tempted to return the favour by shoving it somewhere more personal!
It's an intrusion into liberty and will do not one jot to improve the reputation of plod the police.
If someone shoved one of those things in my face, I'd be very tempted to return the favour by shoving it somewhere more personal! It's an intrusion into liberty and will do not one jot to improve the reputation of plod the police. Old Ladys Gin

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