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Can a Personal Breath Tester Help You Avoid a DUI?

Wearable biosensors that measure the heart rate and count steps are all the rage these days. There is one type of device that has a unique application - a personal biosensor that measures a person's blood alcohol content. Whether you are a regular drinker or just an occasional one, such a device could help you avoid getting arrested for DUI. But before you put your trust in a personal breath tester, there are some things you need to know.

How does a personal breath tester work?

BACtrack is the leading manufacturer of personal breath testing devices. It first developed the product in 2001 and gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the manufacture of personal alcohol biosensors for consumer use in 2004. Are they accurate? According to the New York Times, the BACtrack biosensor is as accurate as the handheld breath testing devices used by police.

The company sells several types of small alcohol sensors. They work like this: you breathe into the device, and it provides a reading of your blood alcohol content (BAC) either directly on the device or else it sends the reading to your Smartphone. It can also provide additional data, such as the estimated time it will take for your BAC to reach zero. With a recommended price ranging from $85 to $130, BACtrack breath alcohol sensors are sold by major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, and Staples.

In addition to BACtrack, there are a number of other manufacturers of personal alcohol sensors.

Be careful when using a personal alcohol breath test device

The idea of a personal alcohol breath tester sounds great. As long as the sensor shows that you're under .08, it's OK to drive, right? Not exactly.

Keep in mind that even if you have stopped drinking, the alcohol content in your bloodstream can continue to rise. If you get behind the wheel when your breath tester reads .04 or .05, you could be well over .08 when you are pulled over by the police.

In addition, you can actually be charged with impaired driving even if you have little or no alcohol in your system. For example, if your personal breath alcohol sensor shows a BAC of .02, but you are also under the influence of any intoxicant, such as marijuana, narcotics, or certain prescription medications, you could still be arrested for impaired driving.

A personal alcohol biosensor can teach you a great deal about the way your body absorbs alcohol. If you're going up the alcohol absorption slope, it's time to call a cab or ask a sober friend to drive you home.

If you have been arrested for DUI, remember that there are defenses to the charge. Speak with an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.