My wife and her friends love to go wine tasting. I am the perfect chauffeur as I don't drink and never have. This way no one has to give up anything to be the "designated driver."
As I drove them from winery to winery, I could tell they were progressively being affected by a higher blood alcohol level. Most interestingly, when asked, people almost always said they felt fine and fully capable of driving. As a layman, I did not think that was an accurate assessment of their condition. I developed an experiment in order to find out if their personal assessment was accurate or putting them and others at risk.
I found an outstanding source, Breathalyzer.net and purchased a breathalyzer. On our next wine tasting trip, I brought it along. After each winery, I had all the people in the van take a test. As the day went on, I would ask them what blood alcohol level they thought they had achieved. Almost everyone underestimated his or her blood alcohol level. After a few wineries, everyone was over the legal limit of .08 yet most felt they were under that number. I found in my brief study most of my friends thought they were under .08 when, in fact, they were at or above a .13 reading.
None of these participants have ever been arrested for a DUI and they have often waited after drinking to drive home or even had someone take them home. Their intentions were great yet they were unknowingly getting behind the wheel and if they were pulled over for a bad taillight or other issue they would be at risk for failing a blood alcohol test.
The next weekend, my daughter invited my wife to join her and her husband at a wine tasting club event. Each couple brings a bottle of wine wrapped in plain paper. One person pours out the tasting samples so no one knows who brought which bottle. At the end of the evening, after everyone voted for their favorite, the winning bottle earns a prize of a few bottles of wine for the donor of that variety.
In addition to my wife, our new associate pastor and his wife, were at the event.
I stayed home to write and enjoy a movie or two on TV. I did send along the breathalyzer which was a big hit.
At the end of the evening, people would have normally headed home believing they had waited long enough after the wine tasting to be driving safely. Instead, they used the breathalyzer and more than half a dozen people were above a .08 and some of them were over .13! Safety considerations aside, it would be reallyembarrassing to be driving home from an event with friends from church and end up being arrested for a DUI.
The following Sunday, our pastor shared how cool it was I sent the breathalyzer to the party. He pointed out several people stayed later than they planned because they found out they were above a .08 level.
That breathalyzer went with my son when he returned to Southern California to begin his new job after graduating college. He now uses it with his friends and they won’t let someone drive home unless they are below the legal limit.
I have ordered enough breathalyzers to have one in my wife’s car, my daughter and her husband for their cars; also my editor is getting one for her car. The model I purchased was the BACtrack B70 Breathalyzer.
If you want to try this experiment at home or if you want to purchase a breathalyzer, I would appreciate it if you used one of the links on this page as I have an affiliate relationship with Breathalyzer.net. Also, you would be doing me a favor if you tell people about it so just send them to my main website, www.drebinger.com and tell them to click on the breathalyzer link.
How can you access your condition with a brain already under the Influence?
I can tell you, I sleep better knowing the people I love now have a tool to check their blood alcohol level before they drive. This is also critical because alcohol alters your brain, so the very instrument you are relying for an assessment of your condition is impaired. If you are under the influence that tool is already altered.
Are you safe to drive?
I need to point out having a test level of .08 or below does not mean you are safe to drive. “Breathalyzers are for informational purposes only and there is no acceptable level of alcohol consumption that makes it safe to drive. Any alcohol that enters a person's body can impair reflexes, motor skills, and cognitive abilities.”
Another interesting fact I discovered while looking for a supplier, was a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is not the only factor in determining whether or not a DUI is given The %BAC is not the only factor considered. Many people do not realize they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) even if their %BAC is under the legal limit. A person can be charged if they are at or over the "legal limit," which is .08 %BAC in all 50 US States, or if they are "impaired to any degree," regardless of the %BAC level.
You can also share this information with your employees so they can take action to protect themselves. Perhaps we can keep more impaired drivers off the road and get more people home safely every day and night.