Since alcohol is not as easily absorbed into your system as food, it can accumulate in your blood. The difference between the amount of alcohol in your blood versus the amount of alcohol being processed by your liver and kidneys is your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. It’s been shown that a BAC of .04% can impair cognitive ability; in most states a BAC level of .08% or greater means you are legally intoxicated and you should not operate a vehicle.
The most common test for BAC is called a breathalyzer test, which assess blood alcohol using, as the name suggests, your breath. There are several devices used to administer the test. A car breathalyzer, often court-mandated, connects directly to a vehicle’s ignition system and keeps the car from starting until the driver provides a satisfactory BAC level. A portable breathalyzer offers a convenient and affordable way to self-test your BAC, providing immediate feedback so you can make an informed decision before getting behind the wheel. A home breathalyzer uses either semiconductor oxide sensors to determine if you have alcohol in your system, or more advanced fuel-cell sensors for more precise readings.
A personal breathalyzer can fit on your keychain while a traditional digital handheld breathalyzer is slightly larger. A Bluetooth-enabled breathalyzer works with your smartphone to deliver immediate results, and can also track your BAC over time, providing insight into how long excess alcohol stays in your system. You may want to research cell phone car mounts so you can easily access your breathalyzer app in your car.
A Breathalyzer and Your Vehicle
Let's be clear: you should not drink and drive. Using a breathalyzer to test your BAC before heading to your car can provide the information you need to make a good decision that keeps both you and others safe. Consider a breathalyzer that features ZeroLine technology; it can estimate the amount of time it will take before your BAC returns to 0.00%.
Distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving while impaired. Look into Apple CarPlay receivers to voice-integrate your smartphone with your vehicle, so you can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Consider installing a back up camera to help with blind spots and make it easier to back up safely. And speaking of backups, it doesn't hurt to have a spare key fob at home.