Technology on the DWI Scene

Police officers are constantly on the lookout for people driving under the influence. Their main objective is to keep the public safe. Because of some original technology breakthroughs, they can now do their jobs faster and more efficiently than before. Learn about all the innovative technological advances police are currently using, and how they can potentially be used on you.


Since launching in 2004, Texas has been home to the Law Enforcement Advanced DUI/DWI Reporting System, also known as LEADRS. The computerized system began with a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and was developed by the Texas Municipal Police Association.

LEADRS is completely web-based. For officers to use, all it takes is a computer that can connect to the Internet. Besides being extremely simple, it makes a big load much easier for police officers. It significantly lessens paperwork that officers have to file when processing a DWI arrest. Before, it used to take anywhere from six to eight hours to process the paperwork. The time spent when using LEADRS is cut almost in half, which saves time and money. Now officers can go through and file up to three or four arrests in one day.

Alcohol-Sensing Flashlights

While it looks like an ordinary flashlight, the Passive Alcohol Sensor (aka “ The Sniffer“) is anything but. It works by using a pump in its interior. The pump, which has a sensor, sucks air out of your car. It then detects if any alcohol molecules are inside the air. Besides being used in cars, if being used within a foot or so of a person, it can identify whether or not alcohol is on someone’s breath.

It has a red and green light on its side. The green light indicates alcohol, while the red light indicates odor. The flaw in The Sniffer comes from the fact that it will inherently pick up all kinds of alcohol, including things like mouthwash or cologne. If you haven’t been drinking but get targeted because of something innocent like mouthwash, you may be asked to take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer.


If you have been convicted of a DWI charge more than once, the judicial system also has ways to make sure you don’t make this mistake again. A well-known technique is using an ignition interlock system. This system is essentially a breathalyzer machine that is installed and attached to a driver’s dashboard.

Every time the driver wants to use their car, they have to take the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test via the breathalyzer. The car will not start unless the test is passed. The car will lock if the driver’s BAC is around .02 or .04% and will notify police of the situation. If the driver’s BAC is below that level, the car will then start normally.

Ankle Bracelet

Another popular prevention technique is ankle bracelet monitoring. The bracelet is issued according to court decisions, and monitors the user’s sweat on their skin for any traces of alcohol. It cannot be taken off until the agreed amount of time has passed. If any alcohol is detected, it also sends the information to police officers.

If one of these new technological devices have been used against you to determine whether or not you were driving under the influence, you may need an experienced DWI lawyer to help you handle your case. Contact The Wilder Firm today to find out how we can help you through this complicated legal period.