Is the Breathalyzer Skin Patch in Your Future?

Categories: Criminal Defense

ignition interlock device

Anyone who has had a DUI or knows someone who was arrested for a DUI likely knows about the Ignition Interlock Device (IID). These are breathalyzers that are installed into a vehicle, into which the driver must blow and “pass” before the IID will allow the vehicle to start. Most states require an IID for those with one or more DUIs.

Scientists and engineers have been looking for more efficient ways to test a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and they are also looking for ways to ensure better accuracy amongst these devices. Researchers at the University of San Diego have come up with a revolutionary new way to test BAC. It involves no blood or breathing; instead, it is a skin patch.

This wearable sensor monitors a person’s BAC remotely, and it communicates that information via smartphone app and even through the IID.

A Person Sweats Alcohol

These new sensors monitor alcohol consumption, because the human body sweats alcohol when it is consumed. The device itself is a temporary tattoo, which sticks to the person’s skin.

It induces the individual to sweat, then it measures the amount of alcohol from that sweat. The portable card inside the patch communicates the data to a mobile device or laptop.

Blood alcohol concentration is best measured through blood – which is the most accurate way to test. However, there is a degree of BAC accuracy in a person’s sweat or breath, too. The new device created by researchers should be able to measure a person’s BAC within 15 minutes.

How Will This Patch Change Drinking and Driving?

The patch is meant to help drinkers monitor their alcohol consumption. It can be used by those who have previous DUIs, as well as those who just want to ensure they are staying safely on the road. The app is excellent for those who want to be responsible when drinking and driving, and it could significantly reduce the numbers of drunken driving incidents across the country.

However, no one knows when the device will be released and how much it will cost; therefore, it could be too costly for some consumers.

Patches may be used by law enforcement in the future to detect an illegal BAC, and might be used by probation officers to ensure that defendants are adhering to non-drinking requirements as part of their parole or probation. For now, law enforcement will still use the traditional methods, and those with a DUI in Colorado may have to install an IID in order to receive their driver’s licenses back.

Arrested for a DUI? Contact a Colorado DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested for a DUI, you must contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you mount a defense and potentially avoid losing your driver’s license or going to jail for a single mistake.

Schedule a free meeting today with Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C. by calling 970-704-0888 or requesting more information online.

Mark Rubinstein

Attorney Mark S. Rubinstein has been practicing law for more than 30 years, including 25 years in Colorado. He founded Mark S. Rubinstein, P.C., in Carbondale after working for law firms in Denver and earlier in his career in San Diego. He focuses his practice in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury representation, and he is well known throughout western Colorado as an effective and unwavering advocate for his clients.