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What you can do to help stop drinking and driving
Posted by The Breathalyzer Team on 1/31/2010 to General Information
It seems to be an unfortunate fact of life that is still fairly common to see people driving drunk on our roads.  Even though just about everyone you talk to will know of somebody who has been adversely affected by drunk driving it still continues.  One of the factors that make it very difficult to reduce drunk driving is that many people are not aware if they are too inebriated to operate a motor vehicle.

Almost everybody has seen the scenario at some point; somebody is leaving a party with their car keys in hand and they are visibly intoxicated.  Perhaps the host of the party or other people present try to tell them that they should not be driving but the person insists that they are fine and heads out onto the road.  To them, it seems innocent enough but they don't realize at that moment that they are putting lives in jeopardy.  If they were to be stopped by a police officer, they would fail a breathalyzer test and be charged with a criminal offense.  If it prevents them from hurting themselves or someone else it might actually be the best thing that can happen.

Something that would help to reduce drunk driving is if there were more portable breathalyzers available for people to use.  In case you're wondering, it is perfectly legal to have a breathalyzer in your car or in your home to test whether or not you are above the legal limit for blood alcohol content.  It can be handy if not just for testing yourself but for testing others as well.

Portable breathalyzers are now very accurate.  The older semiconductor breathalyzer models are accurate as it is, but the newer fuel cell breathalyzer devices that are now available will give you an even more exact reading of your blood alcohol content.

There are a number of ways that you can use a portable breathalyzer; first of all, it is a good educational tool.  Many people are not aware of how many drinks it will take to reach the legal limit.  The next time you are having friends over for a few drinks, try pulling out your breathalyzer test and letting people see how much it takes for them to the over the legal limit to drive.  You may have a number of surprised people who find out that they should not be driving home after having a few drinks.

If you have teenage children, it might be a good idea to leave a portable breathalyzer in an obvious place in the family car.  Teenagers can be particularly susceptible to drunk driving for number of reasons.  Peer pressure can cause bad situations to happen, but teenagers are also inexperienced drinkers and it often takes very little for them to become impaired.  

If your teenager gets into the car after going to a party and sees that breathalyzer hanging from the rear view mirror they might just be convinced to take the test.  Make sure that you give your teenagers the option to find another, safer way home and let them know that it is all right for them to do that.  Try to save your judgments for the people who make the bad decisions, not the right ones.

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