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Breath test device gives faulty readings


Most people in New City do not want to drive while intoxicated. They understand the dangers drunk driving presents and choose not to do it. Therefore, when a product came onto the market that promised to provide consumers with a breath test device that could utilize their cell phone to determine blood-alcohol content, many were eager to get their hands on it. They thought such a product would allow them to test their blood alcohol content level on their own, so they could decide whether to drive after drinking alcohol.

The device, called the Breathometer, which first appeared in 2013 on the popular television program, "Shark Tank," fits inside one's pocket. It utilizes the headphone jack on the consumer's cell phone in conjunction with an app. The consumer blows into the Breathometer, and the Breathometer displays the consumer's blood alcohol content level on the screen of the consumer's cell phone. This allows the consumer to determine whether they are over the legal limit to drive.

However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that there was no scientific evidence supporting the reported accuracy of the Breathometer. In fact, it could provide consumers with the false reassurance that they were not intoxicated.

Breathometers were marketed on claims that the product was submitted to "government-lab grade testing." They were reportedly akin to breath test products used by law enforcement. Nonetheless, the FTC found these claims were unsubstantiated. In 2014, these inaccuracy issues were brought to the company's attention, but the company continued to market and sell Breathometers.

As this shows, some people may have relied on Breathometers to let them know what their blood alcohol content was after drinking, so they could make responsible decisions. However, the problem with relying on a breath test devise, such as this one, is that they could -- and reportedly, did -- give false readings. Those who believe they are wrongfully facing drunk driving charges due to a faulty breath test reading may want to speak to an attorney, to gain more information on what steps they need to take going forward.

Source: The Clarion-Ledger, "Feds bite down on 'Shark Tank' winner," Bill Moak, Feb. 3, 2017

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