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  1. #1
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    Potentially controversial PSA

    As in, Public Service Announcement. Posting this to look out for Friends.

    Obtaining a correct reading from a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) breathalyzer:

    I drink and then drive. I know.. like.. three people, that don't. Note, it is not illegal to drink and drive. It is only illegal to be over the (now national) limit of .08 BAC. What matters, is that a person doesn't go over that limit. One can argue that for safety reasons. I do not make that argument. At .13, I could easily drive a coned autocross course, and not hit a single cone. Lets face it, pretty much everyone who owns a BMW, that hangs out on these boards, has a driving skill level that is far beyond the average soccer dad driving a Camry and IS dangerous at .13. The real argument for us not being over the limit, is not losing your license.

    Let's get real. I'm not going to stop drinking. I don't abuse it, but I do drink sometimes. There it is. I decided it was time to buy a breathalyzer. I bought a high quality unit that is DOT and NHTSA certified. This unit is at the level that law enforcement use in the field. These are the ones you are up against if you are stopped.

    This has been extremely educational. The websites and Mythbuster results that state that you cannot manipulate or get around a field unit breathalyzer are incorrect. What we have learned is that the units are likely sensing very accurately, but that the way you use it HUGELY effects the BAC level reported.

    Prior to use:
    - Start breathing intensely. No fast. Slow and deep. 3 to 6 full deep cycles.
    - Breathe through your mouth and not your nose. It is your mouth alcohol level that causes the units to FALSELY register too high. You need to supply the unit with oxygen from deep within your lungs. That will measure your TRUE BAC. Your mouth alcohol level is incorrect.
    - As you breathe through these deep cycles, push all the air out on the exhale. Down to nothing.
    - Take one last very deep breath in.
    - Blow into the unit VERY hard. Really hard. This pulls the air from your lungs and not your mouth.
    - If the officer says you are blowing too hard and to try again, you don't care. They are trying to arrest you. They are not your buddy. THis is not a routine traffic stop. They are collecting evidence to send you to jail. It is that simple. Ignore them, and repeat the test just as before. Volunteer to do it 5 times if necessary. Do NOT blow softly and from a shallow breath.

    You are not cheating the breathalyzer. To the contrary.. you are recording a true and accurate reading. Shallow breaths and blowing softly.. you are recording your last sip of a drink. That is a false reading.

    The facts; Over and over, without variation, the folks who have tested on this unit can dramatically lower their BAC by using the unit correctly. For example, going from .07, down to .04, just in how you do it. Think about this for a second; According to the BAC calculators on the internet, if you are a male and weigh 160 pounds there abouts, and have two beers in the course of one hour and then drive, you should be fine. Well below the limit. Test on the unit with bad technique, and you could hit .08 to .10. Use it properly and you could be .05 to .07. Totally legal.

    Forget all the moral arguments about getting drunk and then driving. I'm talking about the basics; Drinking a small reasonable amount with friends, and staying within legal limits... to do it again another day! Just wanted to pass this along, as you guys all matter. :-)

    I recommend buying one of these units by the way. I'm learning.. drinking and driving without it, is like speeding without a radar / laser detector.







    '02 Z3 Coupe 3.0i [Hellröt II - Walnuß]
    '03 X5 3.0i [GrauGrün - Beige]
    '01 Z3 Roadster 3.0i [AlpenWeiß - TraumRöt]


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    Well Done. Thoughtful and Factual. Thank You!


  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice... What unit did you buy

    and what research did you do in the process? How expensive are they?
    Current garage:
    1967 427 Shelby American Cobra
    2001 BMW Z3 Coupe, 3.0
    2007 Nissan Titan 4x4
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    Food for thought:
    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flys like a bananna.

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    thanks Rowan, very informative


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    Nick aka "mng" (bimm_rf_st)
    2002 Z3 Coupe
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    Re: Thanks for the advice... What unit did you bu

    Alcomate Prestige. A lot of websites sell that brand. I bought from Alcotester.com. They are about $130.00. I bought the 2 digit to the right of the decimal Prestige unit. I will likely buy a second unit for the other cars, but I might go with the more expensive Premium unit. Same sensor technology, but reads to 3 digits to the right of the decimal.

    3 digit model

    2 digit model

    I started with researching the net to learn what to say if you are pulled over. I'd always heard to say, "Yeah, I ordered one beer (what ever) an hour ago, drank most of it right away, and just had the last sip a few minutes ago before we left". I landed on bunches of sites. The best sites are the law firm sites. They provide dispassionate accurate advice. Very helpful. Most other sites are "blog-ish", or are moral-evangelist. Turns out, you should always say, "No" to the question, "Have you been drinking sir?". The officer can smell it on you every time. They have pretty much already decided to try and take you in. Every single thing you say is being gathered in evidence from that moment forward. As nice people.. our instinct is to be respectful, plus "reasonable" in conversing with them. Keep the respectful part, but decline to answer any questions. There was loads of advice.

    As far as the unit, that is easy. Try it at home when you know you won't driving that evening. Test it over several weeks. Try different combinations of drinking 'n' number of ounces and waiting 'n' minutes. Try different breathing techniques. And try it on several people. Jeez.. we found out eating "Tequila Shrimp" registers easily! You quickly build a database of information. For example, i learned, most unfortunately, that my levels keep rising for at least an hour after a last drink. Rising quite a bit. Other folks.. their levels rise for about 20 minutes, then decline. This is the kind of info you need about yourself. I now know that if I test at .06 leaving the restaurant, having already waited 15 minutes, I could hit .09 within 20 minutes after that.






    '02 Z3 Coupe 3.0i [Hellröt II - Walnuß]
    '03 X5 3.0i [GrauGrün - Beige]
    '01 Z3 Roadster 3.0i [AlpenWeiß - TraumRöt]

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