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16 June, 2024
 
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Breathalyzer protocol under scrutiny after scandal

Insights into the process and penalties amidst Commissioner Zannetou's DUI incident

Newsroom

Following the uproar sparked by Law Commissioner Louiza Christodoulou Zannetou's incident of driving under the influence of alcohol, many citizens have questioned the exact procedure of the breathalyzer test and how an individual can face the offense of refusing to provide a sample.

According to police force spokesperson Christos Andreou, the protocol states that after ten minutes have passed since the preliminary sample is taken on the street, the individual must proceed to the facility with the final testing machine. Within three minutes, they must submit to two new samples. If these two samples are deemed inadequate, meaning not blown satisfactorily, the person is charged with refusing or avoiding to provide a sample.

The individual must blow for a specified period, i.e., for a few seconds, allowing the extraction of a specific sample from the final machine. The lower of the two samples is taken and included in the file presented before the court, assuming there is an indication above the alcohol limit.

Regarding Ms. Zannetou's case, Mr. Andreou mentioned that the Law Commissioner appeared not to have provided the correct sample—meaning she did not blow as required or at least not in the quantity required by the machine to conclude whether someone is driving under the influence of alcohol.

As per the Road Safety Law (Article 11), the maximum penalties for refusing to provide a sample are two years' imprisonment or a fine of ten thousand (10,000) euros, along with the potential deprivation of a license for a period not exceeding two years.

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Cyprus  |  crime  |  police

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