Breathalyzers in bars: Latest technology comes to Charleston County

Breathalyzers in bars: Latest technology comes to Charleston County

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - If you've ever questioned your sobriety or a friend's after a few drinks, a new device will measure your blood alcohol level at the bar.

A breathalyzer vending machine, Boozelator 3001, can measure your BAC or blood alcohol content in seconds.

"We use a platinum fuel cell sensor, which is law enforcement grade," explains Ryan Layne, co-owner of Sober Solutions, a distributor for the Boozelator. "It's what a lot of police departments use when they're assessing the blood alcohol level of someone that's been drinking."

The Boozelator costs a buck and is easy to use, intoxicated or not.

"You'll see it dispenses the straw, tells us to insert in the whole and gives us a five second countdown."

Patron Nick Salerno gave it a try. He had two glasses of wine and two beers within a few hours. His BAC measured 0.06. While he was below the legal limit of 0.08, the Boozelator flashed "caution."

"I think it's a great idea. If I had blown over I would have been much more worried and would have actually considered an alternative route home."

Two beers later, Salerno's BAC was 0.13. The Smoky Oak Taproom's bar manager says last week he encouraged a friend to take the test.

"Ended up blowing, he was way over the legal limit," says Matt Salerno. "That just really made him realize I really shouldn't be driving at all."

He says, at the very least, it will force people to think twice.

"I am over the limit. There's no question about it. That really makes people second guess them getting in a car and driving."

There are seven Boozelators, including the one at Smoky Oak Taproom, around Charleston County.