DennisBeaverNovember 23, 2018 • By Dennis Beaver

Are you, or do you know someone who often:

–Drinks to excess;

–Drives after drinking;

–Is most likely not going to stop drinking, and;

–Is terrified of being arrested for a DUI?

(The family, no doubt, is also frightened, wondering, “Is it if, or when?”)

Let’s add one more crucial element to these questions:

“Does that person own a personal breathalyzer, and if so, can they correctly calculate how many hours off the booze they must remain in order to be sober enough to drive?”

Today’s story will answer these questions as You and the Law brings something new in the world of personal breathalyzers to our readers’ attention. It’s a device that will assure sobriety before pushing the “start” button and driving off.

But more than an innovation, we’re taking a look at the company behind this product, which is an excellent example for anyone thinking about going into business on their own, as we return to 2001.

From an Idea to the largest Breathalyzer Market Share in North America

The world may beat up America and politically we have recently done a good job of that ourselves, often losing sight of what has always made our country great.

It is our willingness to say, “Yes!” to creativity, to innovation, to new ideas, and in 2001, to Keith Nothacker, then a senior in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania who had an idea which he brought to California.

“At that time, only law enforcement had breathalyzers which registered a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of a stop for suspected DUI. But there was nothing available for individuals to test themselves before deciding to drive.”

For Nothacker, “It was a moment I will never forget! Why not build an affordable, personal breathalyzer that shows your estimated BAC? I knew some very bright, highly skilled people in both science and marketing. We brought to market a device that made it easy to estimate your own and other’s BAC and make informed decisions. I named our company BACTrack.”

Is there a formula for success in business?

This column frequently hears from readers, who ask:

“I’m looking into starting my own business. Have you found a formula for success?”

Nothacker and BACTrack answer that question. In speaking with a number of his employees over the years, these comments were heard over and over again:

–He shares his vision with everyone who works here and has people skills that motivate us to continually do a better job;

–He makes you feel part of a family – you just want to be here;

–He is generous, treats people fairly and we care about him.

Today, BACTrack has the largest personal breathalyzer market share in North America and it’s available in over 25 countries.

For close to a decade now, this column has followed the evolution of consumer breathalyzer technology, comparing BACTrack’s devices which sell for under $100 to law enforcement units costing several hundred.

I will never forget the look on a CHP officer’s face when the numbers on his $800 unit matched those of the BACTrack device. As they use the same Fuel Cell sensor technology, that’s why they matched.

How soon before I am sober?

As Nothacker explained, “Until recently, a breathalyzer could accurately provide your estimated BAC at the time you blew into it, but not when it would be safe to drive, that is, the estimated time all of the alcohol is eliminated from your system.

“That’s why we developed the C8. With each BAC result, a user’s estimated time to 0.00% BAC also appears on the display; this is our patented feature we call ZeroLine® and it’s the time at which it’s safe to drive. The C8 is the only standalone only device currently available that shows your ZeroLine® and when you’ll be ok to drive.”

Most people do not know how long alcohol remains in the system

Research studies conducted by universities across America reach one consistent finding about a drinker’s ability to accurately predict having no measurable alcohol in their systems: “People simply do not realize how long alcohol remains in the system.”

For most people, alcohol is eliminated at a constant rate of .015 BAC per hour. Body weight influences absorption–how much alcohol it takes to become intoxicated–but not how many hours before that alcohol is completely metabolized.

“The C8 shows estimated time to sobriety, a person’s ZeroLine®, which is when all of the alcohol will be eliminated from the body,” Nothacker observes.

You and the Law recommends spending time on the BACTrack website, taking a look at the C8 and a product coming out soon that has heads turning, BACtrack Skyn, the first wearable—like a Fitbit—alcohol tracker.


Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and enjoys hearing from his readers. Contact Dennis Beaver.



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