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Missouri drivers may be interested to learn that new commercial blood alcohol measuring devices are available to consumers. An increase in the availability of these devices, some of which cost as little as $30, may be due to the National Transportation Safety Board's proposal to change the legal definition of drunk driving from a BAC of .08 to .05.

Proponents of these devices argue that these commercial devices allow those who do drink to measure their BAC beyond simply counting drinks. For example, one device known as BAC track will even estimate an individual's BAC over the next few hours. Another device, made by Alcohoot, can be used by the iPhone and will give a list of restaurants and taxi companies for those who need to sober up before driving.

Safety experts argue, however, that these devices do not indicate that a person is safe to drive simply based on the readings. The point at which the person becomes impaired is different for everyone. In addition, the manufacturers may face certain liability.

Most police departments, on the other hand, use a unit called the Intoxilyzer. This device costs approximately $10,000 and requires training to use. Officers also carry mobile units that give the officer probable cause to conduct a field sobriety test.

Those who are convicted on drunk driving charges may face serious penalties, including a license suspension, hefty fines and a possible jail sentence. An experienced Missouri attorney may be able to have the charges dismissed or reduced by challenging the evidence against their client. In many cases, the attorney may be able to challenge any field sobriety test or breath test if they were not properly conducted.

Source: New York Times, "Blood Alcohol Testers for Those Without Badges ", Matthew Wald, July 03, 2013

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