In 1931 Rolla N. Harger invented the first successful machine to test blood alcohol content in 1931 and was dubbed the “drink-meter”.  Everyone knows the dangers of drinking if it is not done responsibly.  It has been documented as far back as the first book of the Old Testament in The Bible.  But often, especially around holidays, we need to be reminded.

A breathalyzer is a general term for an instrument which measures blood alcohol content (BAC).  It can only estimate the BAC, but to get a true blood alcohol content reading a blood test must be done. Police and law enforcement carry these devices to test someone if they have been drinking and operating a car.  Drinking alcohol and driving can carry some very serious charges, fines, loss of license and/or time spent in jail. Even if a person driving a car does not get into an accident and/or injure anyone, often (especially during the holidays), police set up road blocks to randomly pull over and test drivers to see if they are intoxicated.

Even if a driver has not been drinking, even a drop of wine on one’s shirt, prescription medication, lack of sleep and/or other such circumstances allow the police to perform a breathalyzer and/or sobriety tests. Should someone get arrested for failing a breathalyzer test, often they have to follow up with a blood test. However, regardless of those blood test results, the police officer gets the benefit of the doubt since a blood test might not happen for hours after someone suspect of DWI or DUI (Drinking While Intoxicated and/or Driving Under the Influence)

Consumer breathalyzer devices range in price from $25 consumer models to over $250 for more professional models. All manufacturers make the disclaimer that it is just an estimation, and while they might be more accurate to the ones that law enforcement use, they are not to be used in place of common sense. Especially if you live in an area where police literally have nothing better to do in low crime suburban areas then to pull over drivers for minor offenses to increase a small town’s revenue, you have to be aware of your limits.

In every state, a BAC of .08 is enough to be legally impaired.  While there are many factors, this basically means that having more than one drink per hour who weighs 14olbs or less, is legally intoxicated and should not be driving a car.

Investing $30 in a unit like this is easily justifiable. You should be aware of how much you and your guests have been drinking.  Even if its recreational, it still serves a valuable purpose. When someone is free pouring wine, beer or drinks without measuring, it is easy to lose count, especially if someone’s idea of a glass of wine is closer to 2 or 3 because they pour it up to the very top of the glass.

A drink is one 12 oz. beer, or one 5oz glass of wine, or 1.5 oz. of liquor 80 proof or more regardless of if it is done as a shot, straight, on the rocks or mixed with soda.  Some bourbons are more that 90 proof which makes them more intoxicating and many craft beers can be double that of regular beer or even a glass of wine.  This is another good reason to invest $30 in a breathalyzer if you are a regular drinker and thinking of driving even if its one glass of wine while at home at dinner.

A unit like this, if nothing else, will help you curb and control how much you drink and become a more responsible drinker.  While it might seem recreational, it will surely make you more aware of how your drinking can effect you, even if are at home relaxing, or even home for New Year’s eve and want to be awake to watch the ball drop at midnight on television.  This could be the very best $30 you ever invest in addition to that fancy barware, set of wine or martini glasses or that laser-etched Glencairn glass for your whiskey.

Drink responsibly. Many don’t know what that means, but measuring with a device like this will help you understand exactly what it means, especially if you have work the next day or early start the next day.

Calculate your BAC Level:



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