Several area bars install breathalyzers

May 18, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
Since 2009, there have been nearly 400 OVI related crashes in Lucas County. Now, some bars are trying to prevent future accidents by putting breathalyzers inside the bar. It's a growing trend here in Toledo. In the last 6 weeks, almost 20 bars have installed these breathalyzers.

Neal Kovacik says, "Although I understand the results aren't admissible in court, I think ultimately it promotes safety." Oliver House general manager Neal Kovacik placed the breathalyzer near the door of his bar. He installed the machine to keep intoxicated customers from getting behind the wheel.

Kovacik says, "They can test it and I've seen a group of people gather around that are here having cocktails try it once try it after another drink and then talk about how one drink affects them."

Lance Heffner, the owner of the "Boozalater 3001" says the machine is accurate, and a good way to find your alcohol level after drinking. Heffner says, "We've tested these up against State Trooper breathalyzer tests and we did 25 different tests with this machine and his unit and each time it was dead on or within 2-one-hundredth of a point."

It's quick, cheap, and could save you from breaking the law.

Heffner explains, "You put a dollar bill in the side of the machine. You pop out a straw and the machine will go through as progression. You blow right into the machine and within a few seconds you're actually receiving your score accurately."

If you're over the legal limit, a caution sign pops up encouraging you to call a cab. So far, the machine is receiving positive feedback.

The Division of Liquor Control says: "Selling alcohol to people who are intoxicated is against the law. Bars and restaurants that use technology like breathalyzers help prevent tragedies on Ohio's roads. That is smart business. The Division of Liquor Control is continually educating our permit holders about the need for safe and responsible alcohol sales. This is a good example of that."

There aren't any liability concerns. The machine doesn't record or print scores. Heffner hopes people take the machine seriously. "People are going to do what they want to do. If they want to see how high they can get their score at least at the end of the night when they blow their last blow after having a few drinks they can take on a lot of precaution when they do decide to get behind the wheel," says Heffner.