The BAT Bus

The Lafayette Police Alcohol Traffic Action Campaign (“ATAC”) has recently acquired a specialized vehicle specifically designed as a tool to combat drunk driving. The unit, called a Breath Alcohol Testing bus or “BAT” was acquired via a $350,000 grant paid for by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. It will serve as a mobile operations unit for regular OWI checkpoints as well as a testing station for suspected drivers when the police set up saturation patrols throughout the city and parish. It is anticipated that the BAT will provide support service to municipalities in Lafayette parish when the need allows.

The BAT will have two separate testing areas which will afford police to conduct simultaneous testing of multiple defendants. It is laden with interior and exterior cameras for recordation of the testing process and procedures. It also contains a controlled environment for conducting Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

We congratulate the efforts of ATAC in acquiring the BAT and the service that it will provide in helping eliminate drunk driving.

Why? We don’t believe you should drive while intoxicated. If you do and get caught, the police have to do their job. They might as well be equipped to do it right. If they don’t, we will do everything possible to protect your legal rights.

Just because one performs field sobriety tests, does not mean that the process was right. The tests (at least in the view of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) are scientific. That means they must be administered pursuant to a standard. Evaluation based on evidence collected by police may be the best defense that you can have to see that the standard was adhered to.

There is also the myth that by the time a driver was tested at the police station their BAC (breath alcohol content) was lower than the time of driving. Not always true. Impairment is based on many factors including sex, body type, diet and time of ingestion of alcohol. Many times tested persons who were tested at the station would have been under the limit if tested at the scene. The BAT may clear up many of these issues as well.

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