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There's A New Way To Test Your BAC

July 3, 2001, 6:25 PM by Anna Peters

There's a new way to check your blood alcohol content before you get behind the wheel. The tests are small, inexpensive and fast. Plus they promise 99.9 percent accuracy.

Each package has two test strips. All you have to do is put one on your tongue and it will change colors and show your BAC.

Jerry McKinney has family in town for the holiday. So, today he's celebrating with a couple of beers. Four bottles to be exact. He doesn't plan to drive home, but he's in good enough spirits to take the test.

He pulls out a strip, places the padded side on his tongue for five seconds and waits. Two minutes later, the pad's turned pink. According to the test his BAC is at .04. The instructions say he should either wait to sober up or take a cab.

The results plus 89-cent price tag are enough to convince McKinney.

He says, "It beats paying all that money to the courts and the system."

Jim Tramontin says, "For 89-cents it's a pretty easy decision."

The tests are inexpensive, but they're not easy to get a hold of. Only a couple of Sioux Falls stores sell them and they usually sell out in a couple of days.

Tramontin says he wouldn't bet his life on the little strips. But, he says they're a useful tool.

"I would definitely think if you got up to the dark color, that is something you wouldn't want to take a chance on anyway."

Police aren't as impressed with the tests. Sergeant T.C. Olson says these aren't as accurate as other tests. Instead, he says if you feel any effects at all, you should not get behind the wheel.

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