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Alcohol Breathalyzers

Essay by   •  May 22, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,022 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,688 Views

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Alcohol Breathalyzers

The fight to stop drunk driving started back in the 1930's. Scientist started to test blood and breath samples to measure the BAC levels of drunk drivers (Issues and Controversies on File, 2007). In the 1960's states made it illegal to drink and drive over a certain BAC level, according to Issues and Controversies on File (2007). During the 1980s groups like MADD (Mothers against Drunk Drivers) began to develop as a result of all the fatalities occurring from drunk driving, according to Issues and Controversies on File (2007). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 33,880 people died in fatal car crashes in 2009, 10,839 were alcohol related (State of Drunk Driving Fatalities, 2009). With these statistics in mind alcohol establishments should take a stand and install breathalyzers in their business. So alcohol related fatalities and the humiliation of a DUI will decrease. The responsibilities of assuring that patrons do not drive intoxicated belong to the alcohol establishments to make sure breathalyzers are enforced, the patrons to abide to the test, and the alcohol companies to support breathalyzers.

Therefore installing breathalyzer in all establishments where alcohol is served may reduce drunken driving fatalities and arrest. The cost of a breathalyzer and disposable mouth pieces will cost around 300 + dollars. Life loc is one brand that the police, the corrections, and workplaces use (Life Loc Tech, 2011). This device can be leased or bought; Life-loc also offers training. One stipulation is that the breathalyzers need to be calibrated periodically to maintain its' accuracy. Life Loc also supplies a how to kit so the device can be properly calibrated. In order to ensure that the breathalyzers are used correctly all bartenders, servers and bouncers will be required to be trained. The seminar and breathalyzer's cost will be part of the alcohol permit that is required by law. The alcohol permit costs around 400 dollars so with an additional 1000 + dollars a year will take care of training, maintenance and the breathalyzer machine. This will make the total of about $1500 + a year. (Kinds of ABC Permits, 2011). There will also be signs posted outside the entrance stating the breathalyzer policy which will say "All drivers who are or seem to be intoxicated will be required to submit a breathalyzer test". With mandatory breathalyzer the establishments will not be liable if the patron becomes impaired and drives drunk. An example of an alcohol establishment needing to take responsibility of an intoxicated patron is what happened in Plantsville, Connecticut. On May 5, 2010 Elizabeth Mcfield drove her vehicle in to another. The family of the man who was driving the other vehicle is suing the alcohol establishments for serving Mcfeild alcohol even though she was impaired. If the breathalyzer policy was enforced, then the bartender could have tested Mcfield and kept her from driving. Mcfield had left their establishment even more intoxicated then she was. For this reason alone the alcohol establishments should be held responsible as well as Mcfield (Connecticut News, 2010). If breathalyzer were put into alcohol establishments, then events like this would be avoided.

To put it in the point of view of the owner's of alcohol establishments will argue that breathalyzers will hurt their business. Owners will probably object paying the extra money to get a permit. They will probably say that people will stop coming, because the patron will not want to be told that they cannot drive. The truth would be that patrons will not stop coming they will just make other arrangements. People will always want entertainment whether it is by entertaining themselves or having someone entertain them. The alcohol establishments can promote ways of drawing in customers by offering entertainment or special prices. They can add free service of transportation or pay for half of the fare. The alcohol breathalyzer policy, if it becomes a policy, will not be welcomed at first like the policy of not being able to smoke in public places, or the seatbelt law. But if they want to go to a drinking establishment then they need to adjust and except it if they become intoxicated. Here's a scenario that will show how alcohol establishments may benefit from the breathalyzers. Two people go to a bar, they stop and read the notice on the front door which reads "All patrons who are or seem to be intoxicated will submit to a breathalyzer test". The patrons look at each other and walk in. One of the patrons asks the bartender what kind of test? The bartender replies "an alcohol breathalyzer test". The patron then says to the other person "wow that is a great Idea". The patron then says "it is wonderful that an alcohol establishment would worry about our safety and others". The bartender also replied "those who plan on staying a while and become intoxicated can call a cab or the community carpool". This scenario could happen and positive things will come from it if everyone cooperates with the policy.

Just as stated in the statistics above there were 10,839 alcohol related fatalities in the USA according to State of Drunk Driving Fatalities (2009). Researchers also have reported that both road checkpoints and the increase use of mobile patrols can reduce the incidence of alcohol impaired driving (Hinson, 1993). By placing breathalyzers into alcohol establishments will also reduce those statistics. The concern for human life is a state wide issue. Just for example, the legislation put a policy into effect in some states that makes it illegal to smoke in public places, because of the statistics of secondhand smoke, which says there were 53,800 deaths in the USA from secondhand smoke (Secondhand Smoke, 2011). The legislation wanted to reduce the statistics so the legislation made it a law in some states. Likewise breathalyzers should be mandated in all establishments where alcohol is served. So the statistics of drunk driving will be reduced. If people can stand by the law on no smoking in public places then the people can stand by mandatory breathalyzers in alcohol establishments. One will argue that the cost of the policy of no-smoking in public places cost nothing. A breathalyzer



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