The Hyderabad traffic police has initiated an inquiry to probe the allegations made by Syed Zaheeruddin Qadri who alleged that the breathalyzers used by the city police were faulty.
On Saturday night, police stopped Syed near Sultan Bazaar during a random drunk driving check, and the test said that he was under the influence of alcohol with 43 mg alcohol per 100 ml of blood, following which he was penalised.
However, Syed argued and claimed he was not drinking and contested the quality of the breathalyzer, a device that detects the levels of alcohol consumed.
When the police took him to Osmania General Hospital for a medical test, it revealed that Syed was not under the influence of alcohol.
However, notwithstanding the medical report, the traffic police seized his vehicle.
Speaking to TNM, Syed said, “I am a teetotaler, and am not in the habit of consuming alcohol. These breathalyzers are faulty. I am innocent...the police should drop the case against me and return my car.”
“Moreover, the doctors have certified I wasn’t drunk, then why did they seize my car?” he asked.
However, the police are confident that their equipment is foolproof and says the hospital is at fault for not conducting the test properly.
“These breath analyzers are 100% perfect, there is no need to raise any suspicions over it. We had done the calibration of the devices just recently,” said Sultan Bazaar Assistant Commissioner of Police Srinivas Reddy.
“The doctors at the hospital didn’t conduct a blood test, which determines if someone is drunk or not. They checked his eyes and his walk, and certified that he wasn’t drunk. It was a poor examination. We have written to the superintendent of the hospital and have initiated the inquiry,” he added.
This isn’t the first time doubts about the quality of the breathalyzers have been raised. In 2014, another motorist had a similar experience and had complained that the devices were at fault after he was tested positive. However, after arguments and repeated tests, the test results came out negative.