Breathalyzer Testing

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Mike, Jane and Papae arrived after abandoning another party, and I quickly interrogated them about their alcohol consumption. 

Mike had had beer from a variety of vessels: two tall (22oz.) bottles plus a can and two red party cups, over the course of three hours. His BAC was at .13.

Papae had finished only 3/5ths as much beer, but her breath test came back at .19! We suspected that she had alcohol in her mouth, so she rinsed out her mouth and tried it again. This time the BAC reading was down to .12.

Marc had five beers and three shots in three and one-half hours. Can you guess what his BAC was?

Sorry I didn't get a more flattering picture of you Marc.

Speaking of good pictures, here is Darin and Stacy! Isn't this a great photo?

Neither Stacy nor Darin were drinking that night. This could be verified with a portable, handheld breathalyzer.

Both reported that it was still possible to have fun at a party without drinking. This could be verified with a portable, handheld lie-detector. 

A few people brought gifts, including this terrific toy from Brian and Michelle. Unfortunately, I had just blown a .06, so they took the keys away and told me someone else would have to drive the Triceratops.

Nick tried again after 3 chocolate cakes, one glass of wine and three beers. He was now up to .12.

In two and a half hours, Brian had 7 shots of Jagermeister (licorice liqueur) and one beer. His BAC was .14.

Rebecca had "this much" (imagine someone holding their thumb and forefinger about two inches apart) rum about two hours before trying the breathalyzer. She blew a .00

After four beers in four hours, I was at a solid .06. It was becoming apparent that it takes a really long time for alcohol to leave a person's system.

Jane had had five drinks over four hours: Two shots of Jameson whiskey, a swig of vodka and three pints of beer. Despite using the old "liquor before beer" trick, she still registered a .26.

It got late, and guests started to leave. 

Having a breathalyzer is a good way to make sure that your guests don't drive home drunk. 

Without a breathalyzer, it can be easy to talk your tipsy self into driving home after you've been "sobering up" for 45 minutes.

With a breathalyzer, you might be blessed with their presence until they are actually sober at 5 a.m.

Frankly, this experiment did not deliver a list of easily-digestible results. I didn't control the experiment carefully enough to deliver hard data for you. Even after a long night and dozens of breathalyzer tests, estimating blood alcohol is still pretty mysterious. 

Next time I'll try to deliver some quantifiable info, something you can use. Until then, stay away from that non-beverage ethanol!

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My feelings on BAC testing in the legal system. Marc's BAC was .17.
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