BACmasters in bars

Brent Finnegan -- March 16th, 2007

I posted last week about the FAR program to promote “responsible alcohol consumption.” Harrisonburg has been chosen as the guinea pig city before this program is started in cities around the country.

Today I read that FAR will be providing participating bars with the BACmaster, an infared-based breathalyser for patrons ready to hit the road. According to the press release on PR Newswire, the BACmaster information is offered purely for educational and not enforcement purposes. I won’t name names, but I hear that some bars in town are being more cooperative than others in this project.

I’ve emailed Jill Kerr, the woman heading up the FAR initiative about hearing community concerns regarding alcohol consumption in town (DUIs, DIPs, underage drinking, etc). She said she’s working to see how they can provide a forum for hearing from the Harrisonburg community on the matter. If you have thoughts or personal stories relating to any of these things, post them in the comments here or email me. I’ve already had several people share their stories with me — everything from getting DIPs for walking home from the bar, to college students afraid to take their friends who have alcohol poisoning to RMH out of fear of being arrested for it. Certain police policies may be detrimental to the goals of the initiative, and it sounds like FAR is eager for community input.


7 Responses to “BACmasters in bars”

  1. cook says:

    self-serve BAC test is a great idea. as an attorney I hear from many who “felt fine to drive” then got stopped and chatged at a .12.

    the low .08 threshold means different level of impairment for different people. this additional information would save much money and many license revocations – and maybe a few lives.

    caveat: this machine must be accompanied with information about rising BAC levels. a .05 at the bar can rise to a .07 at the time of the traffic stop and .09 by the time you get to the sheriff’s dept for a breath test.

  2. bell says:

    The DNR just ran a story today about this that says Dave’s and Calhouns will also be participating.

  3. To Cook,
    Thanks for the positive comments. Your absolutely right about the “I’m OK to drive” scenario.
    Here’s a bit of information on the instrument regarding your concern; The instrument reinforces the issue of rising BAC with both written information and verbal information at the end of the each analysis. If you are a local attorney, come to the Artful Dodger on April 11th. We would love to demonstrate the instrument to you and get more feedback.
    Jim Czachorowski
    BAC Solutions

  4. Angela says:

    Hey Cook what if one of your family members was injured or killed by a intoxicated driver with a low bac, would you still think your client(s) felt fine with a bac over the legal limit

  5. cook says:

    my point, angela, is that some people think they “feel fine to drive” when they shouldn’t be behind the wheel. it seems to me that the added information that could be provided by this machine will keep such people off the road – that’s a good thing. and a low bac threshold is a good thing; but what good is it if you have no way to know your bac before getting behind the wheel?

    thanks, jim, for the link.

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