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Who gives an Alcohoot?

The Colorado Department of Transportation recently handed out personal breathalyzers to people in downtown Denver. The idea behind the giveaway is to enable people to have a sense of how their blood alcohol content (BAC) rises with the consumption of a few drinks.

CDOT gave passersby their very own Alcohoot Smartphone Breathalyzer. With the gadget plugged into their phone, people can get a BAC reading. The makers of the devices suggest that with a BAC reading, a person knows if they are capable of safely driving or if they should call a cab.

When PCMag tested and reviewed the gadget just before Christmas of 2013, its verdict was mixed. The Alcohoot is "easy to use" and gives "consistent and accurate results," but competitor BACtrack was given a slight edge because it gives users an idea of how quickly they will return to sobriety.

The approximately $100 Alcohoot also dispenses some useful information to drinkers, however, beyond the BAC, including the location of nearby restaurants -- and it can call you a ride home as well.

A CDOT spokesperson was a bit more cautious than PCMag about the reliability of the BAC reading you get from Alcohoot, however, telling KMGH-TV news that the readout on the gadget should not be taken as your literal and true BAC. "But it provides a good estimate of what your level is," the spokesperson said.

As you know, in Colorado a BAC of 0.08 percent is the legal threshold for a DUI. If you are at or above that level, you face arrest. And there is no gadget or app to get a person through the criminal justice system after an arrest.

However, you can speak with a Denver attorney experienced in DUI defense if you have been charged with drinking and driving and you want to avoid the law's harshest penalties.

 

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