Although it is now used to refer to any breath-based blood alcohol test,
the term Breathalyzer is actually a trademarked name. In fact, there are
many things most people don’t know about these devices, including
where they came from, as well as where they are going.
Just two short decades after the Drunkometer was developed, a man named
Robert Borkenstein developed the now infamous Breathalyzer device in 1954.
As the country became more focused on making both cars and roads safer,
Breathalyzers quickly became standard-issue for law enforcement nationwide.
The very first drunk driving arrest in recorded history took place way
back in 1897, when a taxi driver crashed his cab into a building. Although
he pled guilty, it took another 34 years for someone to develop a way
to scientifically prove that he was drunk through a breath test alone.
In 1931 Rolla Harger, a toxicologist at Indiana University, developed a
device known as the “Drunkometer,” an early precursor to modern
breathalyzer devices. The drunk person would first blow into a balloon,
and then the balloon would be attached to a beaker with a special chemical
solution which would change colors in the presence of alcohol. The more
alcohol on someone’s breath, the faster the colors would change.
The breathalyzer was created only two decades later.
The Future of Breath Tests
Breath BAC tests are still highly flawed, and researchers will undoubtedly
continue to work on ways to improve the accuracy and reliability of these
machines. The real future of breath test devices, however, will most likely
be the development of a device that can detect other drugs. Marijuana
breathalyzers are in development, but they face a number of scientific
challenges. Researchers from Washington State University, however, have
had limited success with a device they claim could be modified to detect
other illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and many more.
DUI? Call 805-467-6542.
Many people believe that Breathalyzer tests are always 100% accurate, but
this is simply not the case. In many instances, the way the test was administered,
the calibration, or even your diet can cause wildly inaccurate results.
When you choose to be represented by The Law Office of Christopher P.
Welch, you can expect tireless, committed defense to fight the charges
Contact our firm today for your
free case evaluation.