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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

With Breathalyzers Everywhere, There is No Excuse for Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is entirely preventable, but despite this, it still accounts for nearly a third of traffic fatalities. One might even argue that drunk driving is even more preventable in New York City than in some other parts of the country. The Bronx has no scenic rural roads such as one might find in Appalachia, where liquid courage inspires you to keep on driving until you reach a dry county. Furthermore, unlike some sprawling, suburban areas, which are practically public transportation deserts, subways, buses, and taxicabs are ubiquitous in New York.

Furthermore, drivers do not need to wait until they get stopped by the police to find out that their blood alcohol content (BAC) is past the legal limit. Simply counting how many drinks you had and when you drank them is not an accurate predictor of BAC, but some devices can test a driver’s BAC before they start driving. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact a New York car accident lawyer.

The Car With a Built-in Breathalyzer

The breathalyzer devices that police use at traffic stops measure a person’s BAC by detecting the concentration of alcohol metabolites in the person’s breath. One can theoretically make a breathalyzer in any shape; the BAC-measuring technology would still be the same even if it were not a handheld device with a tube to blow into. In fact, car manufacturers can and do make cars with breathalyzer sensors built into the walls and ceiling near the driver’s seat. Because these sensors are in the driver’s seat area, the car can distinguish between a drunk driver and a drunk passenger. If the person in the driver’s seat has a BAC in excess of the legal limit, the car will not start; in other words, the device works similarly to the ignition interlock devices that the courts sometimes order drivers to use after a drunk driving conviction.

SCRAM is Not Exactly a Breathalyzer, but Sweatalyzer Sounds Worse

Just as it is possible to identify BAC from blood samples and breath samples, it is also possible to measure it based on the concentration of alcohol metabolites in a person’s sweat. When people are convicted of drunk driving in New York, judges may order them to wear a device that detects BAC in their sweat. The device is an ankle bracelet called a secure continuous remote alcohol monitor (SCRAM). During the period of time that the defendant must wear the device, which in New York is usually 60 or 90 days, the device measures BAC multiple times per day. In the event of a personal injury lawsuit related to drunk driving, this means plenty of evidence about the defendant’s history of drinking in the hours, days, and weeks leading up to the accident.

Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC About Car Accident Cases

A car accident lawyer can help you if you are injured in an alcohol-related car accident. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC in Brooklyn, New York, or call (212)671-1110 to discuss your case.


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