Saturday, March 30, 2013

Breathometer Turns Smartphones Into Personal Breathalyzers

Blowing into a breathalyzer usually happens at random holiday checkpoints, or worse, after a cop pulls over an erratic vehicle. What if you could pre-empt that potential DWI/DUI charge—a criminal misdemeanor in New York State—by measuring your own, or your driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) before even entering the vehicle?
The people at Breathometer are soliciting funds and pre-orders for their smartphone breathalyzer right now on Indiegogo. The device is a small plastic dongle that plugs into the headphone jack of either an iPhone or Android phone. You activate a special Breathometer app on the smartphone, and blow into the device, with your BAC reading displaying on your phone.
The company claims Breathometer is as accurate as any other consumer Breathalyzer on the market, which usually cost $50 and up. If the screen shows you have 0.08 pecent—the level considered "legally intoxicated"—you know not to drive. If you drive with BAC between 0.05 percent and 0.08 percent, the charge is a DWAI—Driving While Ability Impaired—which is a traffic infraction in New York.

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