Monday, August 19, 2019

Should you buy a Breathalyzer?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2019 at 4:47 PM

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Should you buy a Breathalyzer?

If you've ever asked yourself that question, now might be your best chance to answer in the affirmative. A device that measures your blood alcohol content can keep you out of jail — and more importantly, save lives — if you heed its warning before getting behind the wheel.

Plus, the Colorado Department of Transportation has partnered with BACtrack to offer Coloradans a 50 percent discount through September, or while supplies last, on personal Breathalyzer-type devices.

The BACtrack Mobile Pro device for sale is not necessarily cheap — $49.99 after the discount — but it just might be worth it.

I mean, think about the possibilities. Not only can you make sure you aren't too drunk to drive, but you can annoy all your friends at parties by forcing them to test their blood alcohol content before they leave.

State and local agencies across the state are conducting extra enforcement operations to catch impaired driving between Aug. 16 and Sept. 3. Last August and September, 44 people were killed in crashes involving impaired drivers — accounting for more than 20 percent of impaired driving-related fatalities for the year, according to a statement from CDOT.

During last year's Labor Day DUI enforcement period, 936 impaired drivers were arrested in Colorado.

Colorado laws specify that a BAC above 0.05 percent can land you a citation for Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), and a BAC above 0.08 percent equates to a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) citation. (If you have consumed any amount of alcohol, and appear impaired to a police officer, you can get a DWAI citation even when your BAC is below 0.05 percent.)

BACtrack's personal device integrates a police-grade device with a mobile app, and it looks pretty nifty. It'll even help you estimate how long it will take for your BAC to hit 0 percent. Check it out here.

Not in the market at the moment? The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility offers a "Virtual Bar" to provide estimates of what your BAC could look like after consuming different amounts of alcohol and food, based on your height, weight and age.

For example, if I took a shot of tequila right now, the Virtual Bar estimates that my BAC would be 0.068 percent — enough for a DWAI. But if I'd had some pepperoni pizza 15 minutes before drinking, it would be around 0.047 percent. (Probably still a little too close for comfort.)

If you're bored at work, it doesn't hurt to check out the Virtual Bar. And if what you find surprises you, maybe you should buy a Breathalyzer.

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