Q979: How does a Taser work and what effect does it have on the body?
Conductive Energy Devices (CEDs) are otherwise known by their trade name 'Tasers'. When CED pulses are applied to the body, either through clothing or directly on the skin, electrical current flows. This current activates nerves under the skin which then cause muscles to contract. When this happens, the contractions produced by the CED override a person's ability to make voluntary movements – the person will not be able to run away or physically attack someone. This muscular incapacitation only continues for as long as the CED discharge is applied.
The normal reaction of a person exposed to the electrical discharge of a CED is pain, coupled with the loss of voluntary muscle control which can result in the subject falling to the ground or freezing on the spot. Recovery from these effects should be almost instantaneous once the discharge turns off. Anyone who is arrested after being subjected to CED discharge is examined by a medical professional.
With regards to using a TASER for self-defence, please see Q766.