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Smartphone breath testers could gain in popularity

In our last post, we wrote about how additional drunk driving patrols will be on New Jersey highways throughout the holiday season. At this time of year, not only do drivers have to deal with the elements, it is much more likely that drunk drivers will be on the road. Indeed, law enforcement agencies have a special incentive to keep dangerous drivers off the road, as no one wants to be a holiday accident statistic.

In light of the many public safety announcements warning against drunk (or even buzzed) driving, a new gadget could be gaining traction among the public that may help drivers stay out of trouble if they have alcohol while out on the town. A number of smartphone breath testing devices have come on the market, and the hope is that drivers will take heed to the results they give before they get behind the wheel.

The devices work very similarly. They have a plastic tube that you may blow in, and a sensor that can read the alcohol content on your breath and display the readings on a small screen. Also, they have a connection that goes directly into your smartphone’s headphone jack, or it can connect wirelessly through Bluetooth. Some devices, like the Alcohoot, tout the ability to give “police grade” accuracy because they use similar technology to used in professional grade Breathalyzer machines.

Some devices come with smartphone apps that give you suggestions on additional restaurants, but they may also suggest cab or ride share services in the event your BAC is over the legal limit. It is unknown how common these apps are, but they appear to be helpful in avoiding drunk driving arrests. 

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