Posted by R.K. Gella
What they’re saying: The iPhone could save lives. What thousands of college kids are thinking: A refreshed drinking game for upcoming semester.
In an effort to promote responsible imbibing – among owners of Apple Inc. products of course – the iBreath has been introduced, a compact accessory that once connected immediately transforms an iPod or iPhone into an alcoholic breathalyzer.
The advantages of such a gadget, designed by David Steele Enterprises Inc, are debatable, as critics caution on the employment of the device in a real time environment.
Especially concerned is Laura Dean-Mooney, national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who fears the iBreath will inadvertently encourage irresponsible drinking and offer a false sense of security when getting behind the wheel.
Law enforcement agents use instruments that are calibrated monthly, and accurate readings require the person taking a field sobriety test to blow “deep lung air,” she said. iBreath claims to offer results in as little as five seconds within 0.01% accuracy.
When the device is connected the individual administers breath into a “retractable blow wand” that will then be measured for blood alcohol content. An alarm will alert the individual if his/her blood alcohol level is above 0.08, which is over the legal limit in all 50 states.
“We are absolutely not advocating drinking and driving, but we know that people just don’t observe that,” said Don Bassler, chief executive and founder of David Steele Enterprises Inc. “We don’t want people to think that this makes it all OK, but it’s a safety device that we hope people will use, and it may save lives.”
The iBreath may be a friend, doing a service in keeping the roads safe, or in may be a ruse, only purposeful as a drinking novelty, joining the a dive bar’s inventory of checker boards, pickled eggs and tasers.