The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department is going to proceed with purchasing Breathalyzer analysis machines for the department to use to test for Commercial Driver’s Licenses countywide.
County Commissioners gave permission to Sheriff Kerry Lee at the June 17 regular Commission meeting.
“We would try to get up to about a 50 percent reimbursement from state and federal money on the program and we would then in turn go the agencies that are using the machine like the school district, power district, senior nutrition, road department and try to seek monies to try to help cover the other 50 percent that was not covered by state or federal monies,” Lee said.
Having the breathalyzer is more of a way of offering a community service Lee said. “We do not have a testing center here in Lincoln County. For a person with a commercial drivers license (CDL), there is occasionally a random drawing for a given department, for example the road department, for workers there who have a CDL. A call is made to the department and a random name given and the person is instructed to report for a breathalyzer test.”
Lee explained the selected person, at present, “has to travel to either Las Vegas or somewhere else that has a Federal Department of Transportation Testing Service.”
Lee explained further, “I did not want to see our Lincoln County residents having to drive all the way to Las Vegas or wherever, to a testing center to take a five-minute test. Once you get a call for a test, you are supposed to be there within a couple of hours. From the north end of our county to Las Vegas is and two and a half, three hour drive. You’d be lucky just to get there in time.”
He said, “We thought it just wasn’t feasible for locals to have to take a whole day off work to make the trip for such a short test.”
Lee said the for entities that might not help the Sheriff’s department in purchasing the equipment, “We will then in turn charge them a certain amount for having the breath tests done.”
The machines will be the small personal size, hand-held units, and are somewhat different than the ones used for DUI testings. “Those don’t have a printout, and are not admissible as evidence in court”, Lee said. These more specialized units are admissible in court.
Lincoln County will have two of the breathalyzers, one in the north and one in the south, meaning tests can be done in both Alamo or Pioche.
Some of the deputies, both from the Detention Center and patrol, will be trained to give the tests, ”So that we have somebody on pretty much all the time that is certified to give the tests,” Lee said. “I think this is very good thing in the end.”