Alcohoot transforms your smartphone into a breathalyzer

The $119 breathalyzer plugs into the audio ports of iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Replacement mouthpieces and power cords are sold separately.

The breathalyzer, which plugs directly into the headphone jack, is now available for $119. Alcohoot

Let's face it: If you've thrown back a few, relying on your own inner sobriety ticker to determine whether you're sober enough to drive isn't exactly advisable.

Enter Alcohoot, a cute little breathalyzer -- available as of this week for $119 -- that plugs directly into the audio port of iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Given the potential messiness involved, extra mouthpieces and replacement power cords are available for $7.99 and $9.99, respectively. And I'll go out on a little owl's Alcolimb and suggest also insuring your smartphone if you plan to be drinking and blowing in its liquid-intolerant vicinity.

Only time will tell if the price tag is too high for the average drinker with wheels, and it's more than twice as expensive as the $49 Breathometer currently on backorder. But the folks behind Alcohoot claim you'll be getting your money's worth. The gadget does, after all, boast "law enforcement grade" fuel cell sensors that, paired with an internal pump and pressure sensor, provide "professional grade" accuracy. And each year, for $30, the folks behind Alcohoot will ship you a brand-new device along with a shipping label to return the old one.

The free app doesn't just measure your blood alcohol content. It also provides imbibing-handy features such as your own drinking history -- including both measurements over the course of one drinking session and an overview of drinking habits over time -- as well as taxi services nearby and even a list of open restaurants within walking distance.

Since it can be hard to take a friend's keys away when you think they've had too much to drink, perhaps the best use of the breathalyzer and app is to show those who want to drive and shouldn't some hard data to back you up.

About the author

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Best mobile games of 2014
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)
This is it: The Audiophiliac's top in-ear headphones of 2014 (pictures)
ZTE's wallet-friendly Grand X (pictures)
Lenovo reprises clever design for the Yoga Tablet 2 (Pictures)