In many instances, individuals accused of driving under the influence are
unaware of what their blood alcohol content is. Some people may not feel
intoxicated at all when getting behind the wheel, even though their BAC
is well over the legal limit. Not only that, but there is really no one-size-fits-all
way to determine BAC, as it can fluctuate with the type, amount, and speed
at which alcohol was consumed, as well as a person's body size and
any food they ate. If there was a way to accurately and easily test BAC,
it would seem that many drivers would avoid getting behind the wheel with
Pros & Cons of Personal Breathalyzers & Tests
One of the trends gaining speed in response to this concern is the use
of personal breathalyzer devices or sobriety tests for consumers. Some
of these are one-time use devices, and others are multi-use, connected
through an app on an individual's cell phone. For example, popular
smartphone apps require the user to solve puzzles, answer questions, and
react in a certain amount of time to determine their sobriety.
However, the quality of breathalyzers will play a significant role in their
reliability. While some are cheap and can be attached to keychains, others
are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are similar to those
used by law enforcement. Like police breathalyzers, these require constant
upkeep and calibration. Failure to do so can result in a false BAC reading,
which may be misleading for a driver.
So are personal breathalyzers the key in preventing a DUI arrest? Yes and
no. Personal breathalyzers can be a great gauge in determining intoxication
and may prevent a driver from getting behind the wheel when they know
that have consumed a little too much alcohol. However, these devices cannot
be used as evidence to argue your level of impairment. Further, they are
not 100% accurate and should not be used as something you rely on to determine
whether or not you should drive.
The only BAC reading admissible in court is that taken by law enforcement
following an arrest. Furthermore, a BAC under 0.08% does not guarantee
you won't be charged with DUI. Any level of impairment result in criminal charges.