New Breath Test Helps Combat Drunk Driving

(NUI) - A simple, easy-to-use breath test designed to discourage drinking and driving is now available in retail, over-the-counter, consumer markets under the First Check Breath Alcohol Testers trade name.

The patented test, marketed by Worldwide Medical Corporation, consists of a small plastic tube surrounding a glass ampule containing yellow crystals chemically treated to change color to a blue-green if a person's breath alcohol level reaches 0.08 percent or higher.

The test is performed by simply crushing the plastic-coated ampule and blowing through one end of the plastic tube for 12 seconds. The yellow crystals will undergo a color change if a person's breath alcohol concentration reaches 0.08 percent or above.

Announcing the new product, Worldwide Medical President H. Thad Morris said driving while intoxicated is a major cause of fatal accidents on the nation's highways.

Morris cited statistics published by Mothers Against Drunk Driving as a major reason for adding the breath test to the company's growing family of First Check educational and professional products for detecting drug abuse, fertility and cancer.

"MADD has spent the last 18 years promoting the consequences of drinking and driving and today, more than ever, the message is sinking in," he said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for every age from 5 through 27. In the past decade, four times as many Americans died in drunk-driving crashes as were killed in the Vietnam War.

"We believe the First Check Breath Alcohol Testers can augment the message and provide those who drink with an immediate reason not to get behind the wheel," Morris said.

"Additionally, we believe First Check will be a tool which can be used by friends, relatives, taverns, sports bars and bartenders to provide an immediate evaluation of those persons who often insist they are capable of driving when all around them know differently."

Worldwide chose to market the new test with a breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent cutoff level because 0.08 percent is considered the legal limit in 15 states; the remaining states consider 0.10 percent to be legally drunk, Morris said.

The company's home drug tests are easy to use and provide immediate results in less than 10 minutes. Parents are advised to seek professional advice upon obtaining a positive test result.

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