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Thinking about personal alcohol breath tests: Part I

Most Americans are acutely aware of how dangerous drunk driving can be. It is very rare that anyone is so reckless that he or she knowingly and intentionally gets behind the wheel while obviously drunk. More common is the scenario in which an ordinarily responsible adult believes himself or herself to be sober enough to drive safely and is ultimately surprised to learn that he or she is not quite sober enough to be considered “legally drunk.”

It is startlingly easy to drive while intoxicated unintentionally. A number of factors can lead someone to believe that he or she has a blood alcohol content below the legal limit of 0.08 when in actuality, his or her BAC exceeds the legal limit. An individual’s tolerance can vary depending on his or her size, whether or not that individual has taken medication or eaten shortly before drinking and can even be impacted by recent weight gain or loss. It is therefore easy for someone to believe that he or she is safe to drive when ultimately he or she remains legally drunk.

As a result of this reality, it seems that more Americans would choose to purchase and regularly utilize personal alcohol breath tests. And yet, very few of them do. If more motorists did choose to purchase and use these testing devices with regularity, fewer arrests and fewer drunk driving accidents would almost certainly result from the shift.

What are these devices and why are they so seldom purchased and used? Please visit our blog page again soon as we will be considering these questions in our next post.

Source: The Atlantic, "Why Not Just Breathalyze Yourself?" Paula Vasan, Dec. 31, 2014

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