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Breath Alcohol Testing Vehicle to Aid Apprehension of Drunk Drivers

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The Breath Alcohol Testing mobile vehicle will be used at sobriety check points. The Breath Alcohol Testing mobile vehicle will be used at sobriety check points.
Holding cells on the BAT mobile will reduce trips to lockup facilities. Holding cells on the BAT mobile will reduce trips to lockup facilities.

By Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com

MUSKOGEE, OK -- On Tuesday, the Bureau of Indian Affairs unveiled their newest tool in the fight against drunk driving: the BAT mobile, a Breath Alcohol Testing mobile vehicle.  It is one of four high-tech trucks in the nation.

Equipped with blood alcohol testing equipment and holding cells for impaired drivers, the BAT mobile will help Bureau of Indian Affair officers at sobriety checkpoints.

"Each one of these vehicles costs approximately $375,000," said Patricia Tucker, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Our agency is very excited to be able to partner and do this with the tribes. What we’ve heard over the years from the tribal nations, especially tribal law enforcement, is they don’t have a lot of the tools that state agencies have, or the counties or the locals, so this kind of puts them on an even playing field."

According to BIA statistics, in the five-year period from 2002-2006, 3,262 Native Americans lost their lives in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those, 1,864 (or 57%) involved alcohol drivers.

Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement district 2, located in Muskogee is comprised of 43 Indian tribes, including one of the largest tribes in the country, The Cherokee Nation.

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