Engineers from the University of California-San Diego have designed a wearable skin patch sensor that can help drivers understand how much alcohol is flowing through their bloodstreams. Researchers hope that the new technology will prevent drunk driving by informing motorists about when it's safe for them to drive.
The skin patch sensors pair to a user's cellphone through Bluetooth technology, providing information about blood-alcohol content.
How do skin patch alcohol sensors work?
Skin patch alcohol sensors -- also being referred to as temporary alcohol-sensing "tattoos" -- work by adhering to the skin, inducing a sweat response and then analyzing the perspiration electrochemically to estimate the user's blood-alcohol content. This information is then sent to the user's mobile device via a Bluetooth connection.
According to researchers, their skin patch technology is far more accurate than police Breathalyzer devices. The problem with Breathalyzer devices -- and the reason why courts often throw Breathalyzer test results out as evidence in DUI cases -- is that Breathalyzer devices are fraught with inaccuracy problems. For example, swishing your mouth with mouthwash before a breathalyzer test could render a false test result.
Direct blood tests are the most accurate determiner of blood alcohol content, but these are difficult to administer in the field. Drawing blood is painful, and training and certifying police officers to administer such a test is impractical. However, if a car accident results in serious injury or death, police may request that a blood sample be taken at a hospital if the driver is suspected of DUI. In any case, blood-alcohol testing must be done very carefully if the
Were you accused of drunk driving?
Anyone arrested for DUI in Florida has a right to fight the charge. The reality is that blood-alcohol testing is not a perfect science, and police officers are not immune to mistakes. If an error in testing or procedure led to the charge against you, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced DUI defense lawyer about your options for seeking a reduction or dismissal of charges.