by Tiffany Tarpley
Story Created: Nov 14, 2013
St. Francis — Owners of a bar in St. Francis added an interactive breathalyzer in hopes patrons will think twice before drinking too much and getting behind the wheel. “The idea isn’t necessarily for the machine to tell people whether they should drive home or not,” explained Redbar Co-Owner Carrie Wisniewski. “We’re all grown ups and you’re going to make your own decision…if we can get one person to maybe reconsider then I think it would be worth it.” The name of the breathalyzer is Intox Box and it’s manufactured in Minnesota. A representative with the company tells CBS 58 Redbar is the first location to get one installed in Wisconsin. “We use fuel cell technology which is the same that the police use on the side of the road,” explained Joey Vandermause who works in the operations department. He said they calibrate the device once a month to National Highway Traffic Safety standards using an ethanol gas canister scale. “We can scale it and measure how accurate the breathalyzer inside here is,” he said. According to Vandermause, to get an accurate reading the tester has to wait five minutes after his or her last drink. He also said a person’s blood alcohol content can rise twenty to sixty minutes after the test is taken. “It takes a while for your system to process the alcohol and that is different for every person,” he said. Wisniewski said she plans to use the screen’s ad space to promote the Tavern League’s Safe Ride Program. Under the initiative, participating establishments can give vouchers, for free cab rides, to patrons who’ve had too much to drink. “I’m not looking to change the world but maybe just change one person’s mind: Oh, I didn’t realize I was that drunk maybe I’ll just take a cab,” she said.