Why owning a personal breathalyzer may be a good idea: Part I

Every year, each of us seems to get one or two Christmas presents that we plan to exchange or return. Some people take care of this post-holiday task right away. But others let that unwanted sweater sit on top of their dresser for six months before giving up on returning it.

Perhaps you should exchange that gift for something you could actually use but might not otherwise think to buy: A personal breathalyzer test. These devices are becoming smaller, more accurate and cheaper all the time, and some drivers find them to be invaluable. Although the most accurate ones cost over $100, this is a small price to pay in comparison to the tens of thousands of dollars one might incur as the result of a drunk driving conviction.

The founder and president of a company called BACtrack believes that police should not be the only individuals with easy access to a breath-testing device. Commenting on why he started the company, the man said: "I thought it was crazy that you could get pulled over, get arrested and go to jail for a number you couldn't test yourself. It's like not having a speedometer in your car and then getting arrested for speeding."

It should be noted that personal breathalyzers cannot be used as a defense in court. In other words, the official measure of blood-alcohol concentration will only be taken from the device used by the police officer. Nonetheless, a personal device can be a good way for you to gauge your own level of intoxication in order to make the best decision for your physical and legal safety.

Please check back next week as we continue our discussion.

Source: The Atlantic, "Why Not Just Breathalyze Yourself?" Paula Vasan, Dec. 31, 2014

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