More than 100 bars in Western Washington have installed new breathalyzer machines in recent weeks. The machines are part of a new project by a retired construction manager.
Bob Brazel says his machines come pre-calibrated and are supposed to be 95% accurate, but he wants to make it clear that law enforcement is the only group with an always accurate breathalyzer. He said he started this project because he feels like the area could use something like this device.
"I like the idea that people can self-monitor in the bars and they really have no idea if they're over the limit or not," Brazel said. "What this gives the customer is a chance to get an indication of where they are in the blood alcohol."
"The response from bars has been very good," Brazel said.
One of the bars that is participating is Rock Bottom Brewery in Bellevue. Brooke Bosler said it has been fun to see people use and interact with the machine.
"I think it's a conversation point and I hear a lot of people talk about it," Bosler said. "It does keep people with it in mind like 'Hey, guess what? There's that (the breathalyzer),' without us having to remind them and break up the fun so we don't have to be the bearers of bad news."
Amanda Giralmo was at Buckley's in Belltown on Saturday, one of the participating locations. She tested the machine after a beer and blew well under the legal limit.
"I actually think it's really cool, for those who are walking it's a fun game and for those who are driving this is a legitimate tool to use," Giralmo said. "With Uber and taxis and all the different ways to get home I hope people will use this before driving their car if they've been drinking."
A portion of the proceeds are going to Northwest Harvest. In just one month Brazel's business has donated enough money to feed 1200 families of three. Brazel said he hopes to install more machines in the area in the weeks to come and hopefully bring them for events, weddings, and other functions.
If you would like more information you can call Brazel at 425-367-0240.