(WOIO) - Drinking too much and getting behind the wheel is a bad decision some drivers make, despite the deadly consequences. There are a number of pocket breathalyzers on the market that claim to tell you in seconds if you are over the limit. The question is, are they reliable?
It's the night of a sporting event. Jesse and Lydia Rodriguez are having a house party with a few of their friends.
During the course of the evening, they drink a few beers.
So what would happen if they got behind the wheel? Would any of them be over the legal limit?
Products like the
, among others, claim to be able to tell you.
With the Bactrack device, you simply blow into the mouthpiece and the level appears on the screen in just seconds.
Lydia blew a .04, which is below the legal limit of .08. David also blew a .04 after five beers. After six or seven drinks, their friend, Jesse, blew a .03?!
With the Alcohoot, you first have to download an app to your smart phone, then attach the device, blow, and results pop up on your screen.
With this device, Lydia's result is a .09, which is just over the legal limit. She can't get behind the wheel with that. David blew a .13. Jesse blew a whopping .18 -- more than double the legal limit.
Two different devices with two vastly different results.
Ben Smith, a victims advocate for
, says these devices can only be a good idea if used properly.
"We wouldn't want anybody to wait until they're .08 and think that they're safe to drive, because impairment begins long before you reach .08," he says.
If you drink, your best bet is to call a friend, catch a cab, or just stay put until you can sober up. Something Jesse, Lydia and David plan to do.
Remember, even if you blow below the legal limit you can still be arrested. Most officers base that decision on a field sobriety test and if they think you've failed it, you are likely to go to jail.