The Apple iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones on the planet and is coveted by millions of people around the world. There are a host of accessories for the popular Apple device, most of which are sold exclusively through Apple online or at one of its retail brick and mortar outlets. So when I discovered a product from a non-Apple company selling for only $18 on Amazon, my curiosity was immediately piqued. In addition, this product appeared to be useful in that it could actually test one’s breath for alcohol. I later learned that, in addition to the Apple iPhone, the device also works on the iPad and the iPod.
In my younger years, which I refer to as my past life, I spent 20 years in law enforcement. I ran into my share of drunks and drunk drivers, and all of them usually turn out to be a pain in the butt. In my youth, I had been known to have hoisted a few myself, so believe me when I say that I wasn’t against drinking when I was younger. However, the one thing that I saw when working the streets is how alcohol can destroy people’s lives — of drunk drivers as well as those who have the misfortune to share the road with them.
These were the days when there were no portable breathalyzers and one had to work strictly off of initiation and observation of a suspect. I recall one evening sitting at the local BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in San Francisco, filling out my day sheet, which is basically a report of one’s activities during a shift. It was about 11:30 p.m., and I had about a half-hour before my shift ended, when I heard a terrible crash in the distance.
I exited the BART station and observed two occupants in a very damaged vehicle and another vehicle, which was upside-down, with a single occupant. I checked the first car and saw both people were injured and called for an ambulance. Checking inside the second vehicle, the driver sat upside-down on what once was the roof of the car, a whiskey bottle laying next to him, and a very strong odor of alcohol on his breath. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to conclude that this man was drunk driving and the subsequent investigation proved his blood alcohol was 2.4%, which was over the legal limit at the time of 1.0%.
When I saw this accessory that attaches to the charging port of the three Apple devices I mentioned above, I thought to myself what a useful product this could be. But I also thought it would only be useful when someone actually used it and, when receiving the results, refrained from driving a vehicle.
The NowAdvisor iPega 0.9″ LCD Digital Alcohol Tester for iPhone / iPad / iPod — (in black) can be purchased for $18 from Amazon at the time of this writing. The manufacturer does warn that the device will not determine if you meet or exceed the legal limit of your state of residence, but there are plenty of resources on the Internet that can give you this information (here’s a list of blood alcohol concentration limits by state from Progressive Auto Insurance).
Comments, as always, are welcome.