Breathalyzer in Bars: Utah Does it Again

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In some of the best news since twist-off wine caps, Associated Press tells us that Republican Rep. Greg Hughes of Utah is proposing that breathalyzers and other alcohol-detecting devices be placed in bars in the state.

It won't be a requirement for bars to have, but it would likely be a plus for bar owners to join in-- by law, establishments are also partially held responsible for any mishaps that may occur once a patron leaves inebriated. If the breathalyzers are put in place, the bar will not be responsible for a drunk driver who fails the test but still decides to go on the road.

With the introduction of breathalyzers available for public use, a weight would also be taken off of a bartender's discerning eye to determine when a patron should be cut off-- It also cuts down on any heated exchanges that also could occur from said patron being cut off.

As with all things that just seem like an all -around good idea to most, there is some opposition. Just as some of the cavemen probably felt that the wheel was obtrusive and unnecessary, there are those who feel as if breathalyzers in the bar would do more harm than good.

Some worry about the accuracy of the machines. What if the machine registered a lower level of alcohol than it truly is, giving a drinker just enough encouragement to stumble into the driver's seat? Some just feel as if it's best to know personally when you've had enough. Even when you're stinking drunk. Which of course you shouldn't do, but it does sadly happen. The best option is of course self-control and discernment, but wouldn't you love having an unbiased machine to give you that clear clue to "Sit Down, Now" every now and again?

Utah has had a high DUI rate in the past years, but has been able to lower their percentages recently. Rep. Greg Hughes hopes that these optional devices installed in bars will help maintain the state's lowered DUI rates. What do you think?

Image via NDN

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