Are Personal Breathalyzers Reliable in Texas?

When the idea of a personal breathalyzer first came it out, it filled many with hope to be able to avoid a charge of DWI more easily. There are so many times when a person will be out with friends and not know whether they are legal to drive. Then, taking the risk, they will get pulled over for a traffic infraction and end up paying the expensive price of a DWI charge.

Understandably, then, many people were excited at the idea of having a personal breathalyzer to accurately check whether they had too many drinks or not. Early models of personal breathalyzers were expensive, and their accuracy could not easily be counted upon. So, when two entrepreneurs entered a popular television show pitching the idea of an inexpensive breathalyzer that worked with a phone, it was exciting.

Personal Breathalyzer Gets National Attention

That television show is famous for making big investments into products and companies selling new inventions and big ideas. This new smartphone breathalyzer was one of those famous ideas. Now it is getting national attention for the wrong reasons. The federal government has stepped in and reached a settlement with the company behind the breathalyzer.

The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for protecting American consumers from fraudulent, faulty, and misrepresented products. There are powerful laws behind this agency to prevent companies from duping the American consumer into buying something that does not work. The FTC recently used this power to sue the company behind the popular smartphone breathalyzer.

According to reports of the FTC, the company and the agency entered into a settlement over claims the company made about their product. They are specifically prevented from making claims about their breathalyzer reliability, and whether it has undergone certain testing in government approved labs. In addition, the company is required to contact customers and offer a refund of the money they spent on the product in the past.

Questions Remain

Given what recently happened with this company, the question remains about whether this product, or other products, work to prevent getting a DWI. The idea of self testing for BAC is probably a good idea. If for nothing else it shows the police and prosecutors that a driver did not intend to drive drunk because they took reasonable steps to prevent driving inebriated. The results of a personal test would be difficult to actually sway a judge, police officer, or prosecutor.

Given the state of affairs with personal breathalyzers, it is probably best not to rely on them, but to get a ride instead. The safest bet is to not drink and drive at all. This is true because even when a person is under the .08 BAC allowed by law, they could be convicted of DWI based on other evidence of intoxication affecting driving. This can include strong smell or testimony of a police officer’s, other witness, or failed field sobriety tests.

If you are facing a charge of DWI in the Dallas area, contact us. DWI is a serious charge, and you will need the right legal team behind you every step of the way. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm we will ensure you get the best DWI defense available.