More bars bringing in breathalyzers - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

More bars using breathalyzers

Nightlife often includes music, dancing and… alcohol. 

But new breathalyzers aim to make sure that the good times are also safe. 

You get the straw, blow into it for three to five seconds and then you get a reading. Flashing lights certainly get your attention, but will people take results seriously? 

"I feel like you can take it somewhat seriously, but I definitely wouldn't rely on it," said one bar patron. 

Another man said he had two drinks and believed he was under the legal limit, but not according to his breath test. 

That's why Ryan Walden came up with the idea in college. 

"We have speedometers to help us obey the speed limits, but yet we're expected to obey the drinking and driving laws without access to an accurate breathalyzer," Walden explained. 

He says the machines are calibrated once a month and should give an accurate reading, although police warn it's far from an official test. 

"You should not put your faith in a breathalyzer inside a bar to determine if you should drive a vehicle or not," Police Chief Mike Martin cautioned. 

The device warns to wait several minutes after drinking and can be very prone to user error. 

"It does get me thinking, but at the same time I should already be thinking about it and not just have a game," said Paige Stroud, a university student. 

It can be a game - if you want. You can try to guess your alcohol level for a chance at a free test. 

Game or not, bar owners and police agree that it's not official, but it may keep late-nighters from pulling out their car keys.

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