Featured News 2018 Ways to Determine Your BAC Before Leaving the Bar

Ways to Determine Your BAC Before Leaving the Bar

Men and women who spend a night out at the bar rarely take pains to assess their drunkenness before driving home. Usually a quick test in balance or a glance in the mirror is all anyone does to determine whether or not they are able to drive. While some cautious people may bring portable breathalyzers to the bar, these are expensive and not common. Most drinkers turn make it a guessing game, but there's very little connection between how drunk someone is and how drunk they think they are.

Now, researchers are developing new ways to determine whether or not you're sober enough to get behind the wheel.

Vending Machines for Driver Safety

A new invention known as SipSmart allows bar customers to check their BAC before getting into their cars. It looks like a little kiosk that offers readings for a $5 fee. Customers will also need to buy a $0.50 mouthpiece at a dispenser located next to it. These little boxes may be installed wherever there's a bar and give people an accurate BAC reading within 15 minutes. The breathalyzer is the same as the one used in a traditional police test and will give identical results that a government-issued breathalyzer would.

Advanced Safety Devices has also created a coin-and-bill-operated vending breathalyzer that they market to club and bar owners. The company says that bars with one of these machines will generate a more positive image of the alcohol service industry by addressing the issue of drunk drivers. ASD markets their product with the slogan "Make Money and Save Lives."

Though these technologies are just being developed and made available to the public, their continued success will make them a common sight at bars and restaurants across America. Some states want to install these breathalyzers at sporting events and other entertainment venues as well. The Sip Smart (and similar devices) will not only ensure that fewer people will make themselves vulnerable to a DUI—it will provide some extra revenue for the bar (or the city).

Non-profit organizations and safety advocates, including Don't Die Drunk, are promoting these kiosk breathalyzers across America. They champion any FDA-approved machines that keep motorists from getting behind the wheel when they are not in a position to do so safely. The support of non-profits and safety experts also lends legitimacy to the companies developing these devices.

Some Government Officials Express Concern

Some lawmakers are concerned that these machines will become a way to drink right up to the limit. Also, skeptics wonder if these machines will open up an onslaught of DUI court cases. Though the machines boast accurate readings, this does not guarantee that police officers will substitute this reading with their own. If you are pulled over and test above the BAC limit, then your original test at the bar will be void.

It's also worth noting that just because a person passes the SipSmart breath test does not mean that he or she is in the right condition to drive. Oftentimes, drivers can still struggle with blurred vision and reduced reaction times because of drinking. The BAC reading is a legal limit, not a biological one. Some people can have a low BAC and still be too impaired to safely drive.

SipSmart, a branch of Ladybug Technology, is also working on portable breathalyzer tests and a smartphone application that can help you determine your BAC by entering your weight and the amount of drinks that you have had over the course of the night. There are plenty of ways to monitor your alcohol consumption without having to simply guess how much you've had to drink. Try to choose bars with breathalyzer tests or carry your own device to ensure that you will be a safe driver on the way home.

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