breathalyzer key beerDid you know that authorities can test you to determine if you’ve been drinking alcohol from the comfort of your home or vehicle? It’s true. Whether these tests work and whether they can help people are two other matters entirely.

One company makes an ankle bracelet monitor that it claims can test whether people have been drinking or not. The maker of this monitor claims that the device can detect the alcohol excreted through the skin during alcohol metabolism.

This type of skin-related testing is known as transdermal testing. Once the monitors assess whether people have been drinking, they send this information to computer operators who then prepare and distribute reports on the people assigned to use such monitoring devices.

This ankle bracelet has been somewhat controversial, because such monitors sometimes give false positive readings. That means the devices will report that people have been drinking alcohol, even if they haven’t. Conversely, sometimes the monitors don’t detect when some users consume a small amount of alcohol.

Ankle bracelets join other more well-known monitoring devices such as breathalyzers. Authorities sometimes require people to have breathalyzers installed in their vehicles, where such devices are known as interlock ignition devices. People may have to blow into these devices to measure their blood alcohol concentration, their BAC, to determine whether they’ve been drinking.

The justice system often requires people to use breathalyzers attached to their cars to fulfill various legal conditions. If they don’t use such monitors, or if the monitors detect alcohol in their systems, they might face consequences, such as losing their licenses to drive.

All of these monitoring devices cost money. And guess who pays for them? The people being monitored. So, in addition to paying fines, court and legal fees, and other costs related to their drunk driving arrest, people also have to pay for technology that might prevent other arrests or have them arrested again. Driving under the influence is thus costly in many ways.