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Dark night?

The legend of the caped crusader endures. The stone-faced crime fighter is a mysterious figure. No one is quite sure who the Dark Knight might be behind the imposing mask. Now the Denver Police Department is adopting a mobile tool to help in its efforts to curtail drunk driving; a tool that will remind many of the Batman.

The DPD's new BAT van will be a part of roadside sobriety checks, the department says. "BAT" is an acronym for "breath alcohol testing." The van will be outfitted with breath-testing equipment used to try to determine the amount of alcohol in a person's system.

Details are sparse in a TV report on the newest addition to the police department's DUI efforts, but we have read about similar BAT vans in other cities. The vehicles are typically equipped with breath-testing equipment and a small holding area for a person being arrested for drunken driving.

One of the main benefits of the vans is that they allow police to have suspects and an officer inside the vehicle rather than outside near traffic.

In Houston a few years ago, there were concerns expressed by criminal defense attorneys that the testing done in the vans there was potentially inaccurate. Testing equipment was apparently resetting itself every time the vehicle's air conditioning went on. In a city as hot and humid as Houston can be, the AC is likely to be used a lot.

It remains to be seen how accurate the readings taken in Denver's BAT van will be.

If you face the potentially harsh punishments of a drunk driving conviction, you can speak with an attorney experienced in DUI defense. They know how to look for flaws in breath-testing and blood-alcohol-testing that can mean reduced or dropped charges.

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