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A biosensor device to prevent drunk driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly 90,000 people across the U.S. perish from alcohol-related causes annually. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that almost 10,000 of those fatalities occur in drunk driving accidents. Texas motorists may be interested to know that there is a device that has been developed that can help curtail the drinking habits that can contribute to chronic health issues and vehicle accidents.

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have created a wearable device that can detect how much alcohol is in a person's sweat and emit the information to that individual's smartphone. The creation of the sensor was sponsored by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Although it closely resembles a temporary tattoo, it is a patch that contains numerous wireless components. One of the components contains a chemical that is released to compels the wearer to create perspiration on the skin underneath the patch. Another part of the patch reads the electrical current changes in the sweat to measure the levels of alcohol and then sends the information to the wearer's phone. Once the phone has the information, it can advise the user whether it is safe to drive.

Devices that measure the alcohol level in a person's perspiration already exist, but they can take from 2 to 3 hours to produce results. The wearable patch can assess alcohol levels and send it to a phone in less than 8 minutes. It is able to provide individuals with a less daunting method of monitoring their consumption of alcohol than those of blood tests or breathalyzers.

Anything that cuts down on the number of people who drive while intoxicated is to be applauded. The penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe, and thus those who have are facing those charges may want to have the help of legal counsel in trying to combat them.

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