You’re heading home from a party, or from the bar, or perhaps even a lengthy lunch and you’ve had a few brews to drink. As you get into your car, you wonder, “Am I OK to drive?” We’ve all been there before and even for those who are confident that they’re in good enough condition to drive home, there’s always that question mark about what the Blood Alcohol Content is at. Well fortunately there are personal breathalyzers out in the marketplace, and BACtrack had already released a $149.99 version earlier this year. However, the device, which by all reports worked quite well, did appear a little too large and also a bit expensive. Fortunately the company came up with the BACtrack Vio, a $49.99 version that is much smaller and affordable.
Coming in at only 2 ounces in weight, the BACtrack Vio uses 1 AAA battery and has dimensions of 2.85 x 0.95 x 0.65 inches. The unit also comes with a key ring since it’s small enough to attach to a set of keys, which eliminates the need to try and remember to bring it along. There is a small tube that flips up, which users will breath into, while the company includes three mouthpieces for those who plan to share the device with others. There is a power button that also pairs it with an iPhone or Android smartphone via Bluetooth.
An app is then used to supply the information, with a Take A Reading button displayed on-screen. After tapping it, the sensor warms up in a few seconds and then it asks the user to blow into the device. After about five seconds or so, the BAC level is listed. There is a feature (using ZeroLine) that gives an indication for how long it will take to get the BAC back to 0.00%. Having tested this with varying degrees of alcohol consumption at home, I found the indicator to be fairly accurate with its timing.
At the end of the day, it works as advertised and I’m really happy to see an inexpensive version of the company’s breathalyzer work as well as the more expensive version. The fact that it’s also so small and non-intrusive makes it a no-brainer for anyone that likes to have a few drinks here and there but wants to be safe and informed about their consumption. With one of these attached to a key ring, there’s no excuse for drunk driving.
Final Score: 5 out of 5