Want to Know Your Blood Alcohol Level? There's an App for That

By Matt Schmitz  on March 13, 2013

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Breathometer Inc. announced that it has developed the first-ever blood-alcohol-content monitoring device for smartphones. The device, for use with both iPhone and Android phones, is the size of a typical car key and plugs into a smartphone's headphone jack. When paired with a mobile app, the Breathometer helps drivers decide whether they've had too much to drink, according to a statement.

In addition to helping users determine whether their blood alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit, the Breathometer also helps connect users with alternate transportation options such as a taxi service. The device awaits Food and Drug Administration and patent approval, but the company aims to have it available for sale starting this summer on the company's website, the Apple App Store and Google Play. It will be $20, including the app.

"Breathometer wasn't created just to address the risks associated with drinking and driving, but to help people, their friends and family all to make smart and safer choices when consuming alcohol," said Charles Michael Yim, Breathometer Inc. founder and CEO.

According to a survey by the manufacturer and "opinion-based community" SodaHead.com, 64% of respondents indicated they had either driven while intoxicated or been in a vehicle in which the driver was intoxicated. Also, 67% reported knowing someone who had been involved in an accident involving a driver under the influence, while 80% knew someone who had received a DUI or DWI citation.

In a separate study by Carinsurance.com, 64% of people surveyed said they would allow an insurance company to install a Breathalyzer in their car in exchange for discounted rates.

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News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers.  Email Matt