New handheld breath screening devices being rolled out from mid-May will potentially save police and motorists hours at the roadside.

The new Draeger 7510 devices look and operate much like those currently used to check drivers' breath for alcohol, but Assistant Commissioner Road Policing Dave Cliff says hundreds of them will have additional software enabling them to return an evidential breath test result in a matter of seconds.

"This is good for all involved, as it means the full breath-testing process can be carried out by police at the roadside instantly, eliminating the need to take suspected drink-drivers to a booze bus or police station for an evidential breath test," he said.

"This will save a lot of time for police staff, drivers and any passengers caught up in the process, particularly in rural or remote areas which may be some distance from a police station or where there is limited access to booze buses."


New Zealand Police is the first police service in Australasia to use the Draeger 7510 as an evidential device.

They have undergone extensive testing to attain the appropriate international standard and significant additional testing by New Zealand Police.

The first 200 devices will be rolled out this month to police in Bay of Plenty, Eastern, Central, Wellington and Southern districts, and to all one, two and three-person stations around the country, with the remaining devices rolled out over the next three years.

Police carries out approximately three million breath tests a year, and takes an intelligence-led approach by targeting times and locations when drink driving is more likely.

This has helped drive an almost 40 per cent reduction in alcohol related driving offences between 2009 and 2014.

Related articles: