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Breathalyzer patch may join law enforcement DUI tests

It seems every few years a new start-up or university releases a new device to curb drunk driving. The fervor to find a "silver bullet" to address DUIs is understandable; thousands of people are killed every year by a public health problem that could be solved with a healthy dose of responsibility. To help people take responsibility for their alcohol consumption, a team of engineers and graduate students from U.C. San Diego invented a "Breathalyzer skin patch."

The skin patch is a combination tattoo and circuit board that is attached via a magnet. The tattoo causes the body to perspire, and the circuit board measures the alcohol content in the sweat. The circuit board then transmits the results, via Bluetooth, to a paired smartphone, and onto the companion app.

The inventors believe it will help people who drink remain responsible by allowing them to test their BAC in real time. But, many DUIs are committed by repeat offenders, so it is unlikely to deter them. Although no talks of sharing the technology with police have been discussed, it is very likely police departments will adopt the technology and add it to their repertoire of tools to combat DUIs.

While this technology is new, it may soon disseminate throughout police departments. If you were arrested for a DUI, then you may want to speak to an attorney. A DUI felony conviction could result in serious consequences for your personal and professional life. An attorney can help you mount a defense to these new DUI testing tools; you don't need to figure it out on your own. A lawyer may be able to help you.

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