Electronic breathalyzers owned by local law enforcement have a longstanding, successful record of scoping out millions of drunk drivers around the country. But these breathalyzer devices still have slight limitations that have been asking for some improvements. Part of that comes in the expense of police using electronic breathalyzers. While those devices can give a basic idea of how drunk a driver is, they don’t give a specific color signal to the immediate illegality on blood alcohol level.
Fortunately, improvements usually come in the most basic forms. It turns out that the above problem could be solved using a gemstone that provides a specific color when someone is officially drunk. There’s also the advent of more personalization with the breathalyzer through our smartphones.
Will Breathalyzers Through Smartphones Catch On?
It’s a wonder someone didn’t create a breathalyzer on our smartphones before. With mobile technology now allowing more interactive tools to monitor our health, you can check your blood alcohol level on your own using a device called Breathometer. Using semiconductors that the FDA has already approved, you can hook it up to an audio jack on your smartphone. A mouthpiece allows you to breathe and gain results through a complementary app.
This is already gaining some media attention and immediately poses some interesting debates about whether personal breathalyzers should be allowed. It creates potential legal entanglements, especially when there’s contradictory readings from the Breathometer and a breathalyzer test from a police officer.
Regardless, it also gives more awareness to drunk driving and not letting someone be fooled into thinking they’re not drunk enough to drive. You can probably expect this to become successful, if not a million copycat devices down the road.
From the police side, you may eventually see something different usurping the electronic breathalyzer devices used for years.
The Benefits of Opal
Leave it to Europe to figure out a more natural way to determine if someone has had too much to drink. In Italy, a new breathalyzer is being tested that uses the gemstone opal to change color when exposed to ethanol. Using calibrated gels inserted into the opal, detecting ethanol will change the color of the gemstone from green to red due to the alcohol vapors.
It’s a brilliant chemical method in giving immediate notice whether someone is over the legal drinking limit. The device also works electronically and essentially bridges the gap between the electronic devices and disposable breathalyzers using similar color signals. This invention would also be able to catch higher levels of alcohol that electronic devices can’t detect.
With breathalyzer advancements like these, which one will ultimately win out? Both will likely become ubiquitous in America before long considering how many drunk drivers still plague our roads. Going by a color code also can take the arguments away about gradations in blood alcohol numbers and go strictly by two words: Illegal or legal.
As drunk driving becomes a crime with nearly zero tolerance, the above words are all that matter.