The holiday season is upon us, and that means office parties, parties with friends and family, and the opportunity to overindulge and possibly drive. If you live in a large city, it’s not really an issue, you can always leave your car for a few extra hours and catch a cab home, or public transportation (depending on the time). But if you live in the Suburbs or somewhere where the options of getting home are minimal, other than driving or staying over, many people overestimate their ability to drive, and they head on home. That isn’t very safe or smart, but for there is a smarter choice: Personalized Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) testers, also known as Breathalyzers.
I know it seems a little odd, but I recently started thinking about an acquaintance that was court ordered to have a breathalyzer attached to her ignition, so that she can’t start her car without being below the legal limit for driving. Since we have such a huge issue in the United States with drinking and driving, why isn’t that standard on all cars? If you don’t normally drink too much, it’s not an issue, and if you do, it prevents you from a possible arrest (or hurting yourself or others).
What are the options for personal Breathalyzers/BAC tests?
– If you aren’t ready to drop cash and carry around an actual breathalyzer, and if you have a smartphone, you can download an app called “DrinkTracker” which you can create profiles for up to three people (height, weight, gender, etc) that takes into account their bodies and how they might actually metabolize alcohol, you can document how many drinks you have, and at what time, and it estimates your BAC. It’s not 100% accurate, but its a pretty good trick to use on the sly, so you can figure out how many drinks you have, and how you feel….while still being under the legal limit. You can set the BAC that you want to get to, and it gives you a timer to length of time to get to that level (in other words, when to stop drinking and when you should be able to drive home!) There are quite a few other features, to help you call a cab, and the risks of alcohol ingestion…all for only $1.99.
-If you have an iPhone, iPad, or an iPod there is also a BACtrack BT-M5 Breathalyzer Smartphone Alcohol Tester. It is a mini Breathalyzer tester that comes with 3 mouthpieces that are reusable, and it connects via bluetooth to your iPhone (or other iProduct) to give you an accurate BAC reading. It also graphs your alcohol intake throughout the night, and estimates when you will be back to below the legal limit. Most importantly, it tells you how the BAC that you currently have effects your body (vision, motor skills, coordination, etc.) so not only might your BAC be above the legal limit, but also shows you why you shouldn’t drive. It’s small enough to be kept in a clutch or a pocket…and it keeps you safe, but it does cost around $149.99.
You can also purchase a real life breathalyzer that law enforcement would use, and have that hooked up to your car, or just carry it around when you go out, for roughly the same price as the BACtrack with smartphone compatibility. I have no interest or backing by either one of these products, I just really happen to think this is a good idea, and it gives people one more reason to think about an alternative to driving themselves when they will be drinking, and it lets you know when you’ve had too much. It’s a great way to double check yourself, and enter into a safe holiday season!
Yours in Good Health