Can a Breathalyzer on Your iPhone Prevent a DUI?

Consumers are seriously attached to their smartphones, and many of those people are iPhone users. Now a developer has created a breathalyzer that’s intended to help reduce DUIs.

Any DUI lawyer has to like the idea of preventing any of the DUI accidents and arrests that happen every year. Unlike the previously released breathalyzer apps for smartphones, this innovation seems more likely to function as advertised. A DUI lawyer would probably advise against relying on the outcome of a breathalyzer app before getting behind the wheel, but this device is something different.

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It’s called the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer. The manufacturer touts it as a professional-grade device that connects to an iPhone. It relies on the same kind of sensors that police use in their official breathalyzer machines. When it’s connected to a smartphone, it activates an app that tells the user whether or not they are intoxicated. It also provides information about how long it will take them to be sober enough to drive.

As a DUI lawyer, this personal breathalyzer device doesn’t sound like a terrible idea. However, at $150 it’s a fairly expensive accessory, and it’s hard to imagine anyone needing it often enough to justify the cost. There’s also the social media factor. That’s right, the app allows users to variously tweet, post and share their results, which seems designed to backfire. Does anyone other than you, the cops and your DUI lawyer need to know what your BAC is?

As a DUI lawyer, I am completely in favor of people being more aware of their BAC before they make a driving decision. However, any DUI lawyer also has to be a pragmatist. The device must be used in order to provide any sort of result, and how many people are likely to grab their iPhone breathalyzer in the midst of a night on the town? Plus, the only results the police trust are the ones that come from their own breathalyzer.

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