The Breathalyzer - Not Just for Cops

No bigger than the average cell-phone, a breathalyzer in a person's pocket or purse may be a life-saving device when having more than a couple of libations. All too often, drinkers fail to understand the level of intoxication that comes with three drinks or more. Once a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .03 occurs, an individual begins to suffer memory loss, and impairment of reasoning.

Even under the best of circumstances, it would be difficult for one to figure their own level of intoxication, with three drinks it is next to impossible. What is needed, to coin an overused phrase, is "a reality check." Everyone, from individual drivers to comprehensive car insurance companies and alcohol serving establishments need to take the risks of drunk driving more seriously.

Technology has met the challenge and produced a personalized breathalyzer.

A responsible drinker can carry the breathalyzer on his or her person. They can then pass it on to a non-drinking friend in order to check their BAC before getting behind the steering wheel of a vehicle.

A puff into the intake of the breathalyzer and seconds later, a digital readout signals the BAC. Only the most foolhardy of drinkers will ignore the warning should the levels be at high levels. Certainly, companion drinkers with lower readings have the opportunity to arrange other transportation for their friend(s) when the BAC indicates a driver may be in the danger zone.

The idea of carrying a breathalyzer may sound a bit "over the top" for many people, but the number of fatalities associated with drunk driving enormous. The present number of Americans suffering from alcohol abuse and alcoholism is staggering too. In 2004, a study found that in the year 2002, eighteen million Americans fall into this category .

Aside from death and damages caused by driving while under the influence of alcohol, there are the lawsuits against the enablers. It is not uncommon for injured parties to file suit against drinking establishments when proven they served excessive alcohol to the defendent.

A New Jersey jury recently awarded a massive $135 million to the family of a young girl who was paralyzed in a 1999 automobile accident, which was caused by a drunk driver following a New York Giants football game. The jury assessed punitive damages against Aramark Corporation, the beer concessionaire at Giants’ Stadium for willfully serving alcohol to a man who was already intoxicated. Compensatory damages were split between Aramark and the driver who caused the accident.

Learn more about the breathalyzer.