Advancing technology and falling prices mean that nowdays you can buy keychain breath alcohol testers at amazingly cheap prices. Look around and you will find them available for as little as $ 5 to $ 10.

But you do get what you pay for. The simple and sad fact is that a breath tester at that sort of price is no more than a novelty item. It may provide some fun for parties, acting as a vague but enjoyable guide as to who has drunk the most. But it would be dangerous to rely on it if you are planning to drive. Some of these cheap devices are wildly inaccurate.

Yet keychain breathalyzers – the kind that you attach to your key ring or which you wear on a chain around your neck – are becoming increasingly popular. Are not there some that reliably tell you whether it is safe to drive?

As already noted, you get what you pay for, and some of the pricier keychain models do give some fairly good guidance. They are not completely reliable – only the expensive and technologically advanced professional models employed by law enforcement authorities are utterly dependable – but the statements they give you are an excellent indication of whether you are able to drive legally.

An example is the BreathKey Keychain Breathalyzer, which bills itself as the smallest breathalyzer in the world, and the only digital keychain breathalyzer that has been approved by the FDA.

It is not cheap – a list price of around $ 70, although you should be able to find it for $ 60 or less at online discount retailers – but it does a good job.

But having said that, if you want to make sure that you are not booked for drunk driving, the best advice is that you should not drink at all.

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