and doubt often lead to people too drunk to drive behind the wheel,
as they put lives in danger. To help counter this, companies
have created personal breathalyzers that give drivers no doubt about
blood alcohol content.
Today, DailyTech chatted with
Keith Nothacker, founder of Bactrack, a well-respected breathalyzer
Some readers may have your ethical standards
confused, and might be under the assumption your company condones
drinking and driving. What is your response to this
We absolutely do not condone drinking and
driving. There are numerous statements on our packaging and in
our instruction manuals that clearly state that intoxication begins
with your first alcoholic drink, and it is a risk to drive with any
alcohol in your system. All of our products are FDA 510(k)
cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and we are very
careful not to encourage drinking and driving.
In fact, we
know from experience that just the opposite happens when consumers
are empowered with a personal breathalyzer. Instead of
wondering how much each drink affects one’s BAC, now people can
actually test themselves. Without a personal breathalyzer,
someone might leave a party and say, “I’m fine – I can drive.”
Now, with the availability of breathalyzers, it is quick and easy to
test someone and clearly show that they are not OK to drive.
It’s very hard to argue with a big LCD display that says “0.08
%BAC”. A breathalyzer helps quantify safe, responsible
The positive customer feedback we’ve received in
this area has been amazing. People are writing to us saying
they tested a spouse or a friend and convinced them not to drive
after testing with a personal breathalyzer.
How do you
confirm the accuracy of your products?
All products are
calibrated using DOT-approved alcohol simulation equipment.
Using premixed and certified concentrations of alcohol solution, we
can calibrate and test any BACtrack® product at any BAC point.
do products have to be re-calibrated once per year?
breathalyzer, from $2,000 police systems with printers to $49
consumer models, require some type of standard maintenance to ensure
long-term, reliable results. It is a function of the type of
sensor used. And with the launch of new fuel-cell based
breathalyzers like the BACtrack S75 Pro and BACtrack S80 Pro,
accuracy can be maintained for much longer periods of time, often
well past a year.
I guess it’s all relative. I’ve been
through 3 BlackBerrys in 2009 alone, so checking the calibration of a
breathalyzer once a year sounds easy.
Out of all the
companies currently selling portable breathalyzers, why should
consumers choose Bactrack?
When you look at the history
of our company and the BACtrack brand, we have always been pushing to
get the best technologies in the hands of consumers. We were
the first company to ever receive FDA clearance to sell a
breathalyzer for consumer use. Our products have appeared on
MythBusters, CSI Miami, and on the Dr. Phil Show just last week.
We have launched two new fuel-cell based breathalyzers in the last 11
months. If a consumer wants a cutting-edge, top of the line
product, a BACtrack® Breathalyzer is definitely the way to go.
purchases your products?
This is the most common
question we get from people. The answer is everyone. On
the same day that we sold a breathalyzer to the Howard Stern Show, we
also sold one to a church running a homeless shelter. That
shows the wide range of people using the product - whether curious
about alcohol levels or using them for serious testing purposes.
Often when parents call to order, they say they’re buying one to
test their child, but they say they also want to test themselves
periodically. We have two products currently available in
OfficeMax stores – the BACtrack B70 and the BACtrack Select S30.
There is huge demand from small business owners who might need to
test their pizza delivery driver, their construction crew, or even
their own bartender staff at a bar. I think everyone either
consumes alcohol or knows someone who does, so a breathalyzer has
Anything else you'd like to say?
the way, we’ve had current NBA, NFL, and NHL players all purchase
breathalyzers from us. If you know your mugshot is going on The
Smoking Gun the first time you get a DUI, it’s a no-brainer to have
a breathalyzer and know 100% you have no alcohol in your system every
time you drive.
Out of curiosity, will you be at CES
We will be at CES: Booth is South 4
35438. Please stop by for demonstrations and new product