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The SUVs will allow police to test whether drivers are impaired on the spot using the Intoxilyzer 8000 device, authorities said. Pete Cohen of the Florida Department of Transportation and Miami-Dade Police Lt. Alex Alfonso talked about the vehicles at police headquarters in Doral.
Miami-Dade Police and the Florida Department of Transportation unveiled two new SUVs Monday that they said contain technology that should make it easier to crack down on drunk drivers.
The SUVs will allow police to test whether drivers are impaired on the spot using the Intoxilyzer 8000 device and process arrestees in the field instead of taking them to the nearest district station to perform the same functions, authorities said.
“Hundreds of people are killed throughout Florida, thousands throughout the United States by the impaired driver,” said Pete Cohen of the Florida Department of Transportation, which provided grant funding for the vehicles.
Miami-Dade Lt. Alex Alfonso said the SUVs are designed for police use, and include a more robust braking system and suspension than other vehicles.
The special technology is housed in a two-drawer system in the back of the SUVs, he demonstrated.
“On the one drawer, (it) actually has the Intoxilyzer, which is the device that they use to test the alcohol content on someone’s breath,” Alfonso said.
Through the other drawer, an officer will be able to use the laptop at the front of the vehicle from the back, Alfonso said. An LCD screen, Bluetooth keyboard and scanner will permit officers to process, copy and email all reports on the scene instead of at a district station.
“These vehicles will help the officer, they’re like tools on their utility belt, just like they use their weapons, they use their handcuffs. This is designed to help the DUI officer make an expeditious arrest and gather the evidence at its peak prime,” Cohen said.
Police have had this kind of equipment in buses for years.
Miami-Dade Police will put them to use in the two SUVs starting this week.