By Rachel Slavik – CBS Minnesota

August 5, 2011

Original Story


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Whether it’s one drink or several, there comes a point when we all reach our limit. Now, there’s a new interactive game popping up in Twin Cities bars meant to raise awareness about drinking and driving.

After a friend got a DWI back in 2008, Ryan Walden came up with idea of the IntoxBox as a way to educate people about their blood alcohol level. It’s a breathalyzer, but it also turns the test into a type of game.

“So far, we’ve had a lot of good reactions,” said Walden.

The IntoxBox is an interactive breathalyzer. People pay $2 and then guess their blood alcohol level. If they get it right, they get the next test for free.

“We found that it actually helps people create points of reference with their intoxication by reflecting on their BAC,” said Walden.

On Thursday night at Joe Sensor’s, customer Joey Vandermause put it to the test. He predicted, after two hours of drinking, that his blood alcohol level would be a .07. However, he was well beyond that at .11.

“I did think I was below and yet I was too drunk. I think a lot of people are in the same boat,” said Vandermause.

Not everyone sees the IntoxBox as a deterrent for drunk drivers.

“We don’t approve of it and we don’t like it,” said Lynn Goughler, of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Goughler said she worries that the IntoxBox will encourage people to turn drinking into a game. She also pointed out that breathalyzers don’t take into account all the alcohol that’s still being absorbed in the system.

“You can walk out of a bar having blown maybe a .06 or .07, and 30 minutes from now be at a .09 or a .10,” said Goughler.

Walden knows his machine won’t solve the problem, but at the very least, it’s giving them a tool to make the right decision.

“It at least puts the decision in their hands, so they’re responsible,” said Walden.