Personal Breathalyzers have been on the market for some time. Some are standalone models, others work in concert with smartphones and apps. Essentially, a user can blow into the device and receive a readout of their blood-alcohol level.

An assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology has been doing extensive research on personal Breathalyzers. He says they hold the potential for helping to prevent drunk-driving related accidents.

But the assistant professor also says that if you go out and drink, you should always have a designated driver. Moreover, he points out that it can take 15 minutes after your last drink to get an accurate reading. That means you cannot take one last shot of whiskey and immediately test yourself before heading to your car and expect your BAC to be okay when you start to drive.

Used properly, a personal Breathalyzer may give you a reasonable indication of your blood alcohol level, which could help you make better decisions when you are considering driving after having a few drinks.

But be aware that the measurements issued by these devices have no impact whatsoever on a police officer’s determination of your sobriety. This means you could get arrested for DUI regardless of what your Breathalyzer says. And of course, if you have been drinking, you may not use the device correctly or misinterpret your test results.

So, if in spite of your best efforts, you still find yourself charged with driving under the influence, you may want to discuss your options with a criminal defense attorney before entering your final plea. Because of all of the possible variables involved in DUI sentencing, it is important that you understand the consequences of your plea. The attorney can also prepare a defense designed to limit the extent of your punishment or even get the case dismissed.