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News

California study into alcohol related impairment detection of boat users.

AcuNetx : 26 February, 2008  (Application Story)
Standardised field sobriety testing using AcuNetx equipment will help Californian research institute develop standard for preventing boat users from navigating a vessel whilst under the influence of alcohol.
AcuNetx has announced that its HawkEye and IntelliPlate systems have been used by the highly regarded research centre, The Southern California Research Institute (SCRI), in a study intended to establish the basis for framing a national standard for testing boat users suspected of being 'Under the Influence.' SCRI is the entity that validated the Standardised Field Sobriety Test used on roadways all over the country. The project is funded by the United States Coast Guard.

'The idea is to be able to detect impaired boat users, and to deter drinking whilst navigating a vessel and to prevent injuries and deaths,' researcher Dary Fiorentini of SCRI said. "As it is right now, there is no nationwide field sobriety standard for 'on the water' impairment." But the California researchers said that needs to change.

'I saw a culture in which drinking is part of yachting,' Fiorentini said. The researchers hope their study convinces everyone, particularly boat users, that just because you're operating a boat doesn't mean you won't harm anyone. The researchers say operating a boat while drunk is even more dangerous than driving a car while drunk.

Currently, the Missouri State Water Patrol is the only water patrol agency in the country that breathalyses boat users while they're on the boat. "I am pleased that SCRI was able to utilise our HawkEye and IntelliPlate systems and we look forward to the opportunity of expanding the commercial potential of these products to meet applications where impairment determination is vital to human safety," said Ron Waldorf, CEO of AcuNetx.
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