Drive Smart After Wining and Dining

The Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) reported recently that a first offense misdemeanor DUI in California now costs up to $15,649 for adults, and up to $22,492 for teens.

When dining with friends over wine, it’s easy to get caught up in the merriment and consume more wine than you should if you plan to drive. AAA noted that in the past year, 10 percent of motorists said they drove knowing their blood alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit (currently 0.08 percent in California).

A DUI is entirely preventable. There is no reliable method for self-estimating whether you’re too intoxicated to drive, but there are several accurate and convenient breathalyzer devices now or soon-to-be available that can be invaluable to wine drinkers who dine out frequently.

BACtrack Mobile™ is a breathalyzer unit that connects to an iPhone wirelessly via Bluetooth and quickly estimates BAC using an accurate professional-grade alcohol sensor. The BACtrack Mobile™ can save results and estimate when a BAC will return to 0.00 percent. And the price, $149.99, is significantly cheaper than a DUI. Available at

The FLOOME™ Personal Breathalyzer plugs into your smartphone and is claimed by the manufacturer as the most accurate smartphone breathalyzer on the market. The device uses the same fuel-cell sensors as law-enforcement breathalyzers. After plugging it into the headphone jack of an iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone, the user blows into the small instrument that connects to a smartphone via the headphone jack, and the user’s BAC is displayed on the phone screen. The device can also determine when it’s safe to drive, or it can call a taxi. It fits easily into your pocket, purse, or jacket. Available this fall for $80, from

Several personal breathalyzers are available at The BACtrack hand-held units use a trusted sensor technology and are easy to operate. Prices range from $39.99 to $129.99.

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