August 9, 1971: Puff bags are here

August 08, 2017

Shepparton police have received their first supply of breathalyzer bags from Melbourne.

Few people already had the opportunity to view these ingenious devices from close distance so I will describe their operation.

The bags themselves are nothing but bags. Their job is simply to hold air.

Made of clear polyethylene, the bags are there to indicate that the victim has actually breathed through the mouth piece.

The bags inflate to show that living breath has actually flown into the bag.

When a driver who police suspect has been imbibing more than normally considered conducive to safe driving, has been detected, the trap is sprung.

The officer produces the kit, takes from it the bag, and fixes it to a special mouthpiece sealed in a hygienic wrapper.

He then withdraws a tube of the magic capsule in which are crystals which turn a tell-tale green when alcohol fumes are exhaled through them.

He files off both ends of the capsule, and fits it into the entrance of the bag, and attaches the mouthpiece to the other open end.

He then invites the driver to let go a good lungful into the bag.

If the crystals in the capsule immediately recoil into a green funk the driver is invited back to the police station for a test on a breathalyzer.

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