The holidays are in full swing, and every year at this time, we at the Law Offices of Steve Karimi like to remind you that getting charged with a DUI is completely avoidable if you designate a sober driver or take alternate transportation such as an Uber or Lyft to get you home after a night of festivities. And we also want to remind you that law enforcement will be on the lookout for people coming home from office Christmas parties or other events where alcohol was served.
That being said, you might want to also consider giving yourself or a loved one an early Christmas present of a personal breathalyzer. Even better, many are small enough to fit in a stocking hung from your fireplace!
Different Types of Breathalyzers
Breathalyzers are no longer only accessible to law enforcement personnel. These days on the market there are single-use disposable breathalyzers, multiple-use breathalyzers, and even smart-phone apps that can calibrate your blood alcohol content (BAC). They range in price depending on the quality of the product, and as you might expect, the cheaper ones may not be as accurate as you would like. Quality breathalyzers will be backed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which the FDA has tested and confirmed that the breathalyzer does work properly.
Accuracy and Calibration
At the very least, personal breathalyzers can help you determine what your BAC is even if you feel that you are not that intoxicated. But to be accurate, the breathalyzer must be properly calibrated, just like the ones law enforcement use. Some models can be calibrated by an owner, while others require that you send it back to the manufacturer on a regular basis to be recalibrated.
It's also important to remember that your BAC can rise after you've tested yourself. In Washington, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal, and you will be charged with a DUI if you are caught. Say you are leaving your office Christmas party and you feel fine after a couple of drinks. A personal breathalyzer might show that your BAC is .06, but you just finished drinking and your BAC continues to rise as you drive home. To play it safe, you should probably call a taxi or a rideshare to get you home, even with a BAC of .06.
If your holidays do get Scrooged by a DUI charge, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi are here to help. We can help determine whether your traffic stop was justifiable or whether the breathalyzer used on you was properly maintained and calibrated. Call 206-621-8777 or fill out a contact form to get started on a free consultation of your case.