Breathalyzers, both those for personal use and those used by authorities, have no doubt helped saved countless lives since its introduction to the public in 1967. The technology has evolved to become more accurate, portable, and advanced from the first humble devices to attachments to smartphones and ignition interlock systems in cars.
Here are three facts you might not know about the now ubiquitous breathalyzer
Car Breathalyzer laws are on the books in all 50 states
Not only that, but 23 states–Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia–have mandatory provisions to require ignition interlock systems to be installed in the car of any DUI offender, whether a first time offender or otherwise.
Generally, offenders are responsible for footing the bill and shopping around at ignition interlock companies. The practice of installing these devices is now so common, that many ignition interlock companies have made innovations such as making discreet breathalyzers that look like cups.
Breath mints don’t fool breathalyzers, mouthwashes does, but not how you would expect!
It’s been a long standing myth that strong smelling items such as breath mints or onions fool a breathalyzer, but this is simply not true as they do nothing to reduce a person’s BAC. Mouthwash, on the other hand, has been shown to raise BAC, due to the alcohol content in many popular mouthwashes.
Breathalyzers need maintenance
A poorly calibrated breathalyzer is one of the top causes of inaccurate readings. If you have a mandated ignition interlock device, it is important to get it checked and re-calibrated on a regular basis. If you have a car breathalyzer, be sure to check the manufacturer’s schedule for maintenance.
Do you have a personal breathalyzer? What do you think of people who use them? References.