Get a BACtrack Vio keychain breathalyzer for $39.99

Normally $49.99, this compact lifesaver pairs with your smartphone to help you determine when you're past the legal limit.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read


Jail? Not fun. The morgue? Even less fun. Destroying property and lives and more? Horrific. Yet those are the risks you face when you drive while impaired or intoxicated.

But how do you know for sure when you've had one too many and it's time to call Uber? Simple: you just put your lips together and blow. Into a breathalyzer.

Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the BACtrack Vio mobile breathalyzer for $39.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code cnetvio at checkout. Regular price: $49.99.

BACtrack's products have been floating around for a while now, and you may recall that the last one resembled an oversize Zippo lighter. It was pocket-friendly, yes, but you had to remember to have it in your pocket.

The Vio looks more like a flash drive; it's compact enough to hitch a ride on your keychain, meaning you'll never be without it -- and you almost can't help but remember to use it before getting behind the wheel.

The little gizmo pairs with your smartphone (Android or iOS) via Bluetooth, where an app displays your blood alcohol content (BAC) within a few seconds of blowing into the tiny tube that folds out from the side. (The Vio comes with three mouthpieces, so you can let your drinking buddies have a turn as well.) The app can also track your BAC over time and help you estimate when the alcohol will be fully clear from your system.

I got the chance to play with the Vio for a few days, and it's amazingly compact and lightweight -- a no-sweat addition to the keychain. I also kind of like that it runs on a single AAA battery (included), which BACtrack says is good for up to 60 tests. One less thing to worry about keeping charged!

Who is this for? You, if you routinely enjoy a guys'/girls' night out. Or your drinking-age kids, who probably imbibe more -- and more often.

I know far too many people who have had their lives affected by drunk drivers. If a simple gadget like this can help chip away at those terrible statistics, I think it's $40 very well spent.

Bonus deal: The good news: Groupon has the Ooma Telo voice-over-IP home phone system for $49.99 shipped. The "bad" news: You'll also have to sign up for a 10-month Ooma Premier subscription, which runs $9.99 monthly. I'm guessing that's still way cheaper than what you're paying now for landline (or even competing VoIP) service, and Premier is chock-full of awesome features (including call-blocking, which is oh-so-important during this relentless political-robocalling season). Given that the Telo would normally cost you $129.99, it's almost like getting Premier for free.