State police to receive new Y2k - compliang breathalyzers (true) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


State police to receive new Y2K-compliant Breathalyzers


Illinois motorists won't have to worry about being accused of driving drunk a hundred years ago, thanks to a federal grant announced Tuesday.

Illinois State Police will receive $2.6 million to replace their current fleet of 450 Breathalyzers - about half of which are not Year 2000 compliant. The units measure people's blood-alcohol levels through testing their breath.

Next year, the units running on outdated software will misread the new date and print out readings indicating the test was taken in 1900.

"They won't stop working. The results will still be accurate," said agency spokesman Mark McDonald. "It's just that they will print out the wrong date."

With the grant money, state police plan to have a new unit in each of the state's 102 counties by the end of the year.

The grant, however, will not cover the estimated 150 to 200 Breathalyzers owned by local police departments or county sheriffs. It's unclear how many of those units will report the wrong date come New Year's Day. But, McDonald said, most of those units are newer ones that likely will not fall victim to the Year 2000 software glitch.

Besides avoiding the software glitch, the new units will allow state police to centralize their Breathalyzer inspection operation and cut costs, McDonald said.

The new units, totaling 450 by June 2001, will be inspected and calibrated from a Springfield computer. Now the agency employs five troopers and 11 civilians to travel across the state to inspect the current fleet of Breathalyzers.

"The majority of those people can be reassigned then," McDonald said.

Joe Mahr can be reached at 782-6882.

-- Homer Beanfang (, October 07, 1999


With "Church Lady," this prompts me to say, "Now isn't that SPECIAL." They can't give us reassurance that 911 will still be up and running to SAVE citizens' lives -- but they CAN still catch the drunks! Speaking of PRIORITIES.....?????????

-- Elaine Seavey (, October 07, 1999.

Just goes to show what all can fail...

-- Mad Monk (, October 09, 1999.

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