Monday, March 5, 2007

Keychain Breathalizer, Little Miracle of Technology

Last week, my friend Jeff and I purchased a digital keychain breathalizer. For a mere $24, we were able to pick one up at the local Tom Thumb grocery store. We thought that this was just a gimmick; for just $24, we could buy something that is so much smaller and cheaper than what police officers use to detect the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) in intoxicated people. So we calibrated it by blowing into it (while sober, of course) and off we were to the beer store to become unsober and raise our BAC to test this little wonder.

After about 3 beers* within an hour, we breathalized ourselves. The display read 0.07% BAC. We pulled out our handy BAC calculators (little carboard wheel we got from Alcohol Awareness class) and sure enough, the keychain was correct. According to the wheel, we were supposed to be slightly intoxicated, but thanks to tolerance, we didn't have any of the symptoms. I still claim I'm not an alcoholic, by the way.

Why is this little device so important? Well for one, you could use it after a night of partying to decide whether or not you should get behind the wheel. If your BAC were 0.08% or more, you might be better off calling a cab, calling a friend, or spending the night. You can also use this handy little device to amuse friends at a party. You'd be surpirsed at how many people are shocked to see thier real BAC in correlation to how they feel. Or, if you are a concerned parent, you can breathaize your kid when he stumbles in the door 3 hours past curfew. Ah, the little wonders that technology gives us these days. What's next? A keychain that can sober you up?

*The beer used in this test was Bud Ice malt liqour with an alcohol content of 5.3%. A normal beer is around 3-4%.

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