MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — The Mount Kisco Police Department received two new portable alcohol breath testers valued at more than $1,000 total from an anonymous donor on behalf of the Mount Kisco Drug Abuse Prevention Council.
The Intoximeters Alco-Sensor FST is a breathalyzer device officers use at roadside on drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. The legal limit for blood alcohol content in New York State is .08 percent.
These state-of-the-art instruments, which cost $529.99 each, have been added to several roadside alcoholic sensor devices the department currently uses. The pocket-size Alco-Sensor FST is an upgrade compared with the previous models, police said.
The new more durable and accurate sensor is equipped with a three-digit display for blood alcohol content, compared with two-digits on the old device. Inside police headquarters, officers have use of the nonportable Datamaster or breathalyzer test.
The 13-member Drug Council received a yearly $125,000 federal grant for youth drug prevention programs, but Chairman Mel Berger said grant money was not used to buy the testers.
The anonymous donor was grateful for the council's drug rehabilitation program through the courts , which began in Mount Kisco in the 1980s, Berger said.
Through the program's intervention, Berger referred the family to a drug and alcohol treatment specialist.
Grateful to the council for giving them their child back, "They said, 'How can we help you?' and I told them there was a need for these specialized pieces of equipment," said Berger.
The department has already handled a couple of drunken-driving cases using the new machines, said Mount Kisco officer Eddie Ramirez, who serves as the department liaison to the drug council.
"If a car is not equipped with one, we will call another car to make sure," said Ramirez. The BAC tester is important enough for an officer to go out of his way to obtain it during a traffic stop, he said.
On Jan. 25, Mount Kisco Lt. Patrick O'Reilly sent a note to the village suggesting they recognize Berger and the Drug Council for the donation.
The gift, O'Reilly wrote, is "yet another example of the two agencies working toward a mutual objective in providing drug and alcohol abuse prevention."
To accomplish this mutual goal of prevention, in addition to supporting the court program and assigning Ramirez as a liaison to the council, the department also gives its station for the council to use on Drug Take Back Days and performs liquor law compliance checks at local bars, restaurants and stores.
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