There are reasons why each state in the U.S. has more than one way to penalize a drunk driver, especially when that drunk driver continues to drink and drive. No matter where you live, if you are convicted of drunk driving, you could face a car breathalyzer or ignition interlock requirement. That means that you are not supposed to drink and drive, and most people understand that. But, there are still those who think they can still get away with a beer or two before heading home, even with a car breathalyzer. They are wrong, of course: there is no safe number of beers that one can drink with the device installed.
While it is true that a car breathalyzer will allow a small amount of alcohol to slide when you submit your breath test, that does not mean you can feel free to drink that beer in your hand. The low blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of your car breathalyzer is there in case you have used mouthwash, medications or other products that contain trace amounts of alcohol right before you test your breath. In that case, the alcohol dissipates and you are clearly not intoxicated.
However, if you have been drinking and test just under the limit of your car breathalyzer, the following could happen:
- Your next test could show a higher amount of alcohol in your BAC sample, because the beer you chugged wasn’t fully in your system when you initially tested.
- Even if you are under the limit of your car breathalyzer, the device still logs your BAC in each test sample. Some states could see any amount of alcohol as grounds for a new drunk driving charge.
Instead of trying to fly under your car breathalyzer’s radar, your situation is a chance to begin to make better choices when you know you will be drinking. You already know what happened last time you took a chance on drinking and driving, why risk even more trouble when you can just find a safe ride home?