Alcohol-monitoring patch uses wireless technology

There may be a technological solution for Illinois residents who have a hard time monitoring their own alcohol consumption. Engineers in California have created a wearable device that can detect a person's alcohol levels and then send the information to a smartphone. If people who are wearing the device drink too much alcohol to drive safely, they will get a warning on their smartphone.

The alcohol-monitoring device was developed by engineers at the University of California, San Diego and paid for by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. When worn, the device looks like a temporary tattoo. Inside of the device there is a chemical that causes the wearer to sweat, a biosensor patch that measures alcohol levels in the wearer's sweat and wireless components that send the data to a smartphone.

Though devices that measure alcohol levels in sweat have been developed before, they took hours to produce an accurate reading. This alcohol-monitoring patch can get a reading in only eight minutes so that the wearer can quickly make a decision about whether or not to drive. Because the information is sent to a smartphone and not displayed on the patch, the wearer's alcohol levels can be checked discreetly.

Drinking alcohol and then driving can be very dangerous. People who have been charged with drunk driving after consuming one or two drinks might argue that they were not legally intoxicated. An attorney may be able to help a defendant in this situation to argue that there is no scientific evidence to back up a DUI charge.

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