Breathalyzers in bars ~ what’s your vote?

I recently read a news piece on CBC about a Moncton businessman hoping to install breathalyzer machines in bars and nightclubs across the Maritimes. The man said he believed that the coin-operated machines could save lives because they’d educate customers and make them more aware (and thereby, hopefully more responsible for their actions).

He already has 2 in a club in Moncton. For $2, a person can get a blood alcohol content reading. Ideally if a person got a reading that was near or above the legal limit, they’d be less likely to take the chance and drive. The bar owner said that this type of things is very popular in Montreal and Toronto.

That being said, there’s always a flip side. A representative from CAA said in the article that people should be very careful relying on coin-operated breathalyzers because there’s no way to tell just how accurate they are. He said that people should take it as a clear indication that they shouldn’t drive if they felt the need to test themselves to begin with.

Hmmm…good point!

Reliability and liability. I know the police breathalyzers are maintained on a regular schedule to guarantee their reliability in a court of law. If I used one of these coin-operated machines and it said I was under the limit and then I drove, got stopped and blew over, I’d be pretty pissed!

In the article, an RCMP spokesperson said that people need to know that the only reading that counts is the one measured by police.

Touché!

Even still, I do think it’s a good thing. Especially if bar owners are willing to do some maintenance and care to ensure the machines are fairly accurate. I think anything that helps people take pause, for even a moment, to question whether they should drive is a step in the right direction. Maybe more often than not someone would decide it’s just not worth the risk.

I took part in the poll on CBC and was happy to see that (at that time) 72.85% (110 voters) agreed that bars should have coin-operated breathalyzers for patrons while only 27.15% (41 voters) disagreed.

What do you think?

The absolute best way to avoid risking blowing over is to commit to zero alcohol when you are driving.

Two years ago, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

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