Police departments in both New Jersey and across the country employ a variety of methods to determine if motorists are driving while under the influence. When a suspect is pulled over, authorities have a battery of field sobriety tests that challenge the suspect’s ability to concentrate and maintain physical balance.

After these initial tests, New Jersey officers may request a suspect take what is called an Alcotest, which is intended to measure blood alcohol content level. In some cases, a suspect may even be taken into custody and given a blood test.

So you would think that the authorities have the process of determining if a driver is intoxicated pretty well covered, right? Well, perhaps not. There may be yet another intoxication detection device on the horizon, and this one is due to the efforts of a 13-year-old inventor who entered the device in a young scientists competition.

However, instead of measuring BAC with breath or blood tests, the 13-year-old’s device utilizes the pupil of the human eye. This is because when we humans are under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants, our pupils will constrict or dilate differently from when we are sober.

Basically, the invention is a flashlight that is shined through a toilet paper roll and into a suspect’s eye, and the image of the eye is captured by a video camera. The behavior of the pupil is measured using software written by the 13-year-old. This amazing contraption has been proven adept at detecting the use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.

So is there a need for such a device since other means are already widely in use? Well, in New Jersey, the use of the Alcotest device has proven controversial due to possible complications that can occur during the testing process.

If you are facing charges based on results yielded by an Alcotest, you may want to get in touch with a New Jersey DUI defense attorney. The consequences of even one DUI charge is too great to be left unchallenged if the sobriety test was not performed correctly.

Source: Business Insider, “This 13-year-old came up with a brilliant way to stop people from driving drunk or high,” Tanya Lewi, Oct. 6, 2015