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Drunk driving patch might hit market

Texas residents who are concerned with the presence of drivers who have had too much to drink on highways and rural roads might be pleased to learn of a product that has been developed in the neighboring state of New Mexico. A start-up company called DermaTec has invented a patch that can detect the amount of alcohol that a person has imbibed by measuring his or her sweat. It works by changing colors the more a person drinks.

The company says that it was spurred to develop the product by the high per capita rate in New Mexico of DWI incidents and fatalities. The patch is called ONUS Blue, a reference to the company's belief that the burden is "on us" to reduce the frequency of drunk driving.

The company's chief executive officer pointed out that the patch could be useful not only in private settings but in bars and restaurants visited by groups that have appointed a designated driver. Employees of those establishments could refuse to serve such a driver if the patch indicated that he or she is too impaired to get behind the wheel. DermaTec hopes to secure additional funding in order to roll out the product.

People who have been handed drunk driving charges face serious consequences if the prosecution is able to obtain a conviction. In addition to a driver's license suspension or revocation, there is a possibility of incarceration and steep fines. Accordingly, those who are in this position may find it advisable to obtain the assistance of a criminal defense attorney in order to construct a strategy to combat the allegations. One possibility could be to challenge the traffic stop as being made without sufficient cause.

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