The latest development in investigating driving while intoxicated is the Passive Alcohol Sensor (PAS). This flashlight with a built-in breathalyzer enables an officer to analyze a driver's breath without the driver's participation or consent.
1. Does use of this device, which could be called a "sense -enhancing" device because it enables an officer to sense something not otherwise possible without the device, constitute a search under United States v. Kyllo? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Let's begin with some background on the Kyollo case. As you may already know, this case made it all the way to the US Supreme Court. It involved government agents who suspected that marijuana was being grown in Kyollo's home. Indoor marijuana growth requires high-intensity lamps. In order to determine whether an amount of heat was emanating from petitioner's home consistent with the use of such lamps, agents used a piece of equipment called the Agema Thermovision 210 thermal imager to scan the building. The scan showed that the roof over the garage and a side wall of petitioner's home were relatively hot compared to the rest of the home and substantially warmer than neighboring homes. Agents concluded that ...
A passive alcohol sensor is discussed in cojunction with evidence issues.