Pocket Breathalyzers – Are They Accurate?

breathalyzerDay in day out, people make the choice to get behind the wheel after drinking, so products designed to stop drinking and driving continue to roll out on a monthly basis. This lineup includes a long list of personal breathalyzers that are small, compact, and designed to take with you on the go.

That’s where the DrinkMate breathalyzer comes in. After a long line of hand held breathalyzers ranging in size from that of an ignition interlock all the way down to an app on your phone, DrinkMate promises to be the world’s smallest breathalyzer. It’s only 1.8 inches long, weighs 0.2 oz, and connects to your smartphone via miniUSB to both charge and give you a ‘innovative air inlet’ to blow and register your blood alcohol content (BAC) instantly on your screen.

What’s the difference between a personal breathalyzer and one administered by the police? While police grade breathalyzers have fuel cell technology to provide the most consistent and accurate results and are performed by certified law enforcement to accurately test and assess someone’s sobriety, DrinkMate is a handheld personal device you administer yourself with the claims to have accuracy from +/- 0.01% BAC. Although the device can’t register super extreme driving under the influence (DUI) levels, it will show a maximum of 0.20% BAC.

DrinkMate has been in the news lately because it’s started a KickStarter campaign to raise funds for development, but the police are warning the public to use caution when it comes to these types of breathalyzers. Relying on a handheld device to tell you whether you’re too drunk to drive could result in people driving while buzzed, and that’s just as dangerous as driving while over the legal limit of .08.

And when you drive over the legal limit? You could end up with your own car breathalyzer – an ignition interlock.

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