Yearly Archives - 2015

The Breathalyzer Breakdown: An Analysis of Breathalyzers on The Market

Part of the joy of turning 21 in the U.S. is being able to partake in the American pastime of responsibly drinking alcohol. Beer, wine, and liquor are widely sold throughout the country, and it is a cherished rite of passage to be able to enjoy each of these. However, that privilege comes with important responsibility as well. One person is injured in a drunk driving accident every two minutes, according to MADD. These injuries are tragic, devastating, and also preventable.

This is by no means a condemnation of alcohol. Bars are as much an American tradition as is baseball. However, it is important to do so in a way that does not cause anyone to be injured and/or arrested. To that end, we have spent some time researching and consolidating data about the personal breathalyzers on the market.

The market for personal breathalyzers covers a vast range of needs and uses, from small budget keychain breathalyzers to Department of Transportation approved ones for commercial or professional use (e.g. bar bouncers). In order to better help you drink responsibly, we have assembled our research into lists based on cost, smartphone compatibility, and accuracy that can help you find the best breathalyzer for your use. Don’t become a statistic. Invest in the best breathalyzer for you.

First, we looked at the breathalyzers with the highest customer ratings on Amazon. We found that the AlcoMate Revo TS200 was the most popular device on the online store, garnering the most positive online reviews. While expensive, it is DOT-approved. Here are the other customer favorites:

Breathalyzer-top5rated

Next, we wanted to see which breathalyzers were the most effective, had the best features, but also wouldn’t break the bank. Starting as low as $39.99, these five offer decent value for the individual consumer who is looking for a personal breathalyzer device:

Breathalyzer-5budget-friendly

For the tech savvy among us, there are breathalyzers that act as an add-on to your run of the mill smartphone. Just attach the device to your phone and you can test your blood alcohol level on the spot. Here are the three best breathalyzers with smartphone compatibility:

Breathalyzer-smartphone-compatible

Next up — which devices are government-approved? These five breathalyzers are officially sanctioned by the Department of Transportation:

Breathalyzer-DoT-Approved-2

Finally, we categorized the different devices by placing them into either the lowest budget range (less than $100), mid-tier range ($100-$200), or most expensive range ($200+). You’ll notice that the most expensive breathalyzer, the Lifeguard Personal Breathlyzer, costs more than $250 and doesn’t even rank as one of the more popular devices. Check out the gif below to see the affordability breakdown!

Breathalyzer-cost-of-personal (1)

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An Analysis of Drunk Driving Fatalities by State

Despite state and federal laws implemented to eradicate drunk driving in the United States, too many individuals still engage in this risky behavior – some with fatal consequences. The worst thing about driving while intoxicated is that you’re not only a danger to yourself — you put everyone else on the road at risk too. There are more than 10,000 deaths related to drunk drivers every year. A tragic statistic.

But when it comes to these drunk driving incidents, which states’ residents are guiltiest? Some might be what you’d expect. California, for instance, is one of the worst states when it comes to drunk driving fatalities. This makes sense when you consider the huge population, minimal public transportation options, and the notorious “car culture” of the major cities. The other states with considerable alcohol-related driving fatalities?

Texas, Florida, and North Carolina top the list.

That’s not a list you want to rank highly on.

dui_maps_mostimpaired_chart

 

Looking beyond the basic numbers however, we can see the highest rates of drunk driving per capita. This yields vastly different results.

dui_maps_highest-rate

So which states had the fewest drunk driving fatalities? Alaska, Vermont, and Rhode Island are the states with the fewest drunk driving casualties. But the states with the lowest rate of alcohol related driving fatalities per capita were the following:

dui_maps_lowest-rate

This likely won’t come as a surprise considering states like New York have millions of people but far fewer drivers than most cities. Utah, with its high Mormon population and relatively strict laws meant to discourage drinking, has the lowest rate of drunk driving deaths per capita in the entire country.

And it’s not just adults who are responsible for these deadly accidents. Despite drinking laws that make it illegal for minors to purchase and consume alcohol, a startling number of fatal crashes are at the hands of under-21-year-olds. The following graphic illustrates the states with the most and least under-21 alcohol-related driving fatalities.

dui_maps_under21combined

You can see that Texas, California, and Florida have the greatest number of fatal crashes by drunk drivers under 21, whereas South Dakota has, by far, the fewest.

Clearly, population plays a role here. Recent census data suggests that there are only about 850,000 people (or 10 people per square mile) in South Dakota, which means it’s much less likely a drunk teenager is going to hurt someone when he or she gets behind the wheel. By comparison, in California, there are 239 people per square mile on average throughout the state. Despite this factor, state population isn’t the only factor at play when it comes to drunk driving fatalities.

A more telling stat is the percent change in drunk driving fatalities in the past decade. Since 2003, some parts of the US have seen a drop in drunk driving deaths, while others have seen a significant increase. Those states with the most improved safety record are:

Wyoming
Utah
Alaska

These three states had the greatest overall decrease in drunk driving casualties from 2003 to 2013.

Which states fared worst over time?

North Dakota
Iowa
Connecticut

See the map below:

dui_maps_state-by-state-change

 

There are numerous factors that determine which states suffer most from alcohol-related driving fatalities. Infrastructure, population change, weather, and legislation all contribute to or prevent these accidents from occurring. We should be able to look at those states with the decreasing rates of drunk driving fatalities to learn what’s effective at decreasing the rate of drivers who choose to operate vehicles while under the influence.

Source:
http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045214/06,00

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