You don’t have to be a medical school student to know that drunk driving — or even driving while slightly under the influence — is terribly serious business. Every year countless people are killed and injured in accidents where that one extra drink was either the primary cause or a serious contributing factor. Still, a lot of us are more afraid of being arrested than of getting into an alcohol related accident, even though the one thing that’s worse than being arrested for drunk driving is not being arrested and then killing someone. I can’t imagine the guilty feelings that would go with that.
Of course, police have been using these devices for years to determine who’s drunk and whose just acting strange because policemen make her nervous. The good news is that many people are starting to get a consumer type breathalyzer for themselves. I think this is very positive because, for all the charts that are available to try and suggest how many drinks it’s safe to have when we’re going to be driving, they are based on rather vague generalities and such variable factors as weight that may be confusing.
While the commercially available breathalyzers are not 100 percent accurate, they are a lot more accurate than the usual self-administered sobriety test, which is basically, “I’ll be fine.” That’s not all, we’ve all encountered the raging drunk who clearly is in no shape to get behind the wheel but who nevertheless is convinced that he or she is entirely capable of driving safely and is angry that you can’t see that. A breathalyzer is great because it’s an objective tool to show people like that, potentially the most dangerous drivers of all, that, no, you’re not trying to make them look stupid, they really have had so many vodkas tonics they are a genuine menace behind the wheel.