Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Product Review: Q3 Innovations' AlcoHAWK Personal Breathalyzers

You ever have that moment when you're done drinking at your local pub and you're ready to go home but not sure legally you should be driving? You feel like you can drive but that .08% BAC is pretty damn low. Take the risk or not? Now there is an easier way.

Recently I was contacted by a public relations company called Dittoe. They were promoting a product by Q3 Innovations who manufactures personal breathalyzer tests. Dittoe sent me a single-use disposable test which uses SmartCrystal Technology which lets the user know their Blood Alcohol Content(BAC) in seconds. If the crystals turn green I'm over the legal limit; yellow means I'm fine.

I figured the best time to try my samples would be after the New Orleans Beeradvocate Tasting we had this past Saturday. Nothing gets your BAC up like consuming tons of beer from around the world. Now granted I'm a very responsible drinker while out and about. You'll always see me with water and of course I don't sample every beer.

So around 10 o'clock the wife and I headed home which is good because according to the instructions you are supposed to wait 20 minutes before blowing into the devise. It took 15 minutes and I waited an extra 5 just to make sure I'm following the instructions. At the 20 minute mark I blew into the devise exactly as instructed and the crystals did nothing. They stayed yellow. I thought this was a bit weird since I had consumed a nice amount of beer and should at least be hovering around the legal limit and the test they sent me is for a BAC for .05. Our legal limit in Louisiana is .08.

Figuring it is broken I opened the other one and blew. Same thing. Yellow crystals. So I cracked open a beer and drank it just to see if the crystals would turn green and sure enough they did. So according to these two devises I was below the legal limit. Pretty far below too.

Honestly I'm not sure I'd trust "Crystal Technology" to keep me out of jail for drinking and driving but that's just me. These single-use disposable tests are only $10 for a two pack. I would rather spend the $49.95 for one of the many other tests they have on their website. Seeing a number rather than watching crystals change color is something I would personally prefer. But if you don't mind the crystals go to your local Walmart and they should have them on their shelves. For $10 it's not a bad deal!

Either way drinking and driving sucks and these items are great to make sure you don't get into that car and hurt not only yourself but someone else. The one thing we craft beer advocates need to be doing to separate ourselves from the BMC big boy crowd is teach responsible drinking. This is one of the many steps and thanks to Q3 Innovations for making these devises and thanks to Dittoe PR for contacting me and allowing me to sample and write about these products.


The Beer Buddha

1 comment:

Gabe said...

We have an AlcoHAWK and I'm a convert: everyone should have one. Not only is it great fun for parties and outing bartenders serving weak drinks, it has served it's purpose in keeping people from driving.

I've noticed an interesting curve in that when you're below the legal limit, you perceive yourself as more drunk than you are, and above the legal limit the alcohol kicks in and you perceive yourself as less drunk than you are. If anything, it's taught me .08 is way drunker than I original thought it was.