Perusing the latest offerings of the latest cell phone applications can lead to a treasure trove of helpful items; both for the good and for the bad. As a defense lawyer, one particular item that always piques my interest relates to applications directed at alcohol monitoring.
In one form or another the public has thus far been sold a bill of goods in terms of the quality and/or reliability of quasi breath testing devices for personal use. In theory, such devices would enable potential drunk drivers to be alerted to the fact that they are above the legal limit for alcohol, and are therefore ok to operate their vehicles.
The above referenced analysis is problematic for potential drivers in different areas. First off, one must recognize that as the technology of toxicology exists today, breath testing equipment must not only meet specified quality control guidelines (usually administered by experts in toxicology by defined rules within the respective states) to be admissible in a court of law. This is the case due to the recognition that without following rigorous and set out rules, breath test results are inherently unreliable.
Further, not only must specified quality control procedures govern the maintainance and definiton of what machinery qualifies as a reliable breath testing apparatus, but those administering such testing must be certified and recertified to properly measure reliable and admissible breath test results. Keep in mind that even if phone applications would prove reliable, most individuals would have no conception of how the body absorbs alcohol so as to conclude that the driver who begins ones journey allegedly at or below a legal limit of .08 will actually remain at such level during the course of travel.
For example, let us hypothesize that the ideal world of the future created bullet proof portable alcohol monitoring systems suitable to be used in a court of law. One must recognize that although one may enter a vehicle and be told that he or she is below the legal limit, that reality can change as the body absorbs the alcohol within the bloodstream as your are driving. Traveling along on your merry way in reliance of what such a novelty item has stated before turning the ignition is probably not much more credible than consulting with a weegie board ( I may be showing my age here) as to any impaired condition. Even if relaibility could be assured, without the proper guidance and understanding of bodily alcohol absorbtion rates, the average driver may have no idea that reliance on even the most reliable of such devices could unwittingly place such an individual in legal peril.
As an Indiana dui lawyer my underlying lesson is that if one wishes to purchase such an application for a phone, have fun with it if you wish. However, the moment you or a loved one relies upon such a device to ensure that you won’t find yourself arrested and behind bars for drunk driving, the fun could soon come to an end.
When in doubt as to how such potential devices in the future may be best utilized and interpreted, it is always a good idea to confer with a dui attorney. While most people do not have a neighborhood toxicologist on speed dial, an experienced drunk driving attorney can often advise further and in more detail as to procedural safeguards to adhere to when considering driving following alcohol consumption.