If you’re old enough to legally drink, and you’re old enough to legally drive, then you shouldn’t need a babysitter to tell you that drinking and driving is a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to do. Even if you have some kind of death wish and don’t care if you’re endangering yourself by getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, it’s selfish to put yourself in a position where you’re potentially going to harm others if you lose control of your vehicle. Even if you’re an otherwise reasonable person who wouldn’t dream of hurting — let alone killing — another human being through the carelessness of drinking and driving, it’s no secret that good, sound judgment is easily the first virtue to be impaired by the consumption of alcohol.
A breathalyzer test can help determine if you’re really as “okay” to drive as you think you are, and owning your own breathalyzer test can ensure that you’re always prepared to do the right thing.
A Breathalyzer Test Can Keep You Out of the Statistics
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):
- In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
- Of the 1,210 traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years in 2010, 211 (17%) involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Of the 211 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010, over half (131) were riding in the vehicle with the alcohol-impaired driver.
A lot of gathering places that serve alcohol have coin-operated breathalyzer test machines for the purpose of making sure that their patrons are safe to drive before leaving an establishment. Unfortunately, “a lot” isn’t the same as “every,” so the chances are still pretty good that your favorite watering holes won’t all have on-site breathalyzer test machines. So what can you do? You can buy your own breathalyzer test that conveniently fits into a purse or pocket or onto a key chain — like the BACtrack Keychain Breathalyzer, for instance.
A Breathalyzer Test Can Keep You Out of Jail
Okay, so just because you luck out and don’t wind up wrapping your car around a tree or running down a pedestrian in a crosswalk when you choose to drink and drive doesn’t make you Mario Andretti.
The police have gotten pretty good at spotting drunk drivers on the road, and once you’re in their sights, you can expect a long night (at the very least) downtown and a long legal process to determine if you deserve to retain your driving privileges. You may not lose your life (or cost anyone else theirs), but you may spend a couple of years swallowing your pride and bumming rides from your friends because you failed to take your own breathalyzer test before turning those keys in the ignition and driving yourself directly down Main Street Loserville, population: you.
Whatever a breathalyzer test tells you, don’t forget that hailing a cab, catching a bus, or carpooling with a designated driver are all acceptable (and recommended) alternatives to drinking and driving.