BAT mobile unveiled
Published 4:21 pm Monday, November 17, 2008
By By Lydia Grimes – features reporter
Drunken driving accounts for approximately 40 percent of traffic fatalities in Alabama.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety has placed nine BAT - breath alcohol testing - mobiles into action statewide to combat drunk driving as part of the trooper initiative called “Task Force Zero.” The units are equipped with specialized breath testing space that allows Alabama State Troopers to process more people who are suspected of drinking and driving.
Cpl. Blake Turman on Wednesday conducted a tour of the BAT Mobile assigned to the nine counties in the Evergreen district as it was introduced to the public.
The BAT mobiles are made possible through $1.4 million in grant funding awarded by Gov. Bob Riley.
The grant is administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community and the chemical breath testing equipment has been provided by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
The mobiles place the laboratory in the field. They allow state troopers to conduct roadside testing of suspected drunken drivers making it more effective to save time and money to process drivers arrested for DUI. The mobile replaces an old bread delivery truck that had been equipped with a breathalyzer and used at sobriety checkpoints.
They can also be used in the field as a command post during an incident or disaster. They are self-contained with generators and batteries.
Turman, along with Lieutenant John Malone, the post commander, also had one of the two semi-marked patrol cars on display.