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BACtrack Skyn: Wearable BAC tracker

Posted by Coleen D. St. Clair | Sep 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

Knowing when you are more than “just buzzed” and cannot safely drive a car can be hard. Most Americans do not know what a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 feels like and it gets them into trouble. In 2014, more than 1.1 million drivers were arrested in the United States for driving under the influence (DUI). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that is just a small percentage of the 121 million Americans that reported driving while impaired. In Washington, 29 percent of all traffic deaths are from drunk driving fatalities. But these numbers could soon change because of ever-improving BAC tracking and wearable technology. BACtrack, a San Francisco company known for selling commercial and personal breathalyzers, recently developed the BACtrack Skyn, a wearable alcohol monitoring device that tracks BAC in real time.

The BACtrack Skyn

BACtrack Skyn is the winner of the National Institute of Health's Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge. The BACtrack Skyn is a wristband, much like popular fitness trackers, that can measure BAC from your sweat. The device works much like the SCRAM devices that have been used to track and monitor DUI offenders, by taking samples of the alcohol levels in your sweat and transmitting the information to a smartphone or cloud server. You do not need a breathing device; the BACtrack Skyn passively tracks your alcohol consumption while on your wrist. And where SCRAM devices generally only measure BAC once per hour, the BACtrack Skyn can measure BAC as frequently as every second, keeping you as up to date as possible.

Real-time BAC Monitoring

The implications for real-time wearable BAC monitoring are tremendous. A wearable BAC monitoring device is much easier to use and more convenient than carrying around a breathalyzer. The BACtrack Skyn can be synced with an app on a smartphone or smartwatch to get interactive data and easily monitor BAC. You can set an alert on your phone that notifies you when you are approaching .05 BAC and reminds you to slow down your drinking. The information could be used to pace your drinking, or as a cut-off point. The BACtrack Skyn could also be used for sobriety monitoring, alerting a family member when your BAC has gone above 0.0 BAC. The BACtrack Skyn would make it very easy to tell if you were able to drive instead of risking a DUI, eliminating the “can I drive home” guessing game.

Seattle DUI Attorney

The BACtrack Skyn has not yet been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for marketing approval is not currently available, but you can sign up to be notified when it is ready for pre-order. Until the BACtrack Skyn and other wearable BAC monitoring devices are widely used and available, people will continue to get arrested and face DUI charges. Any driver arrested for DUI has the right to a quality legal defense. If you have been arrested in Washington State, call Coleen St. Clair at St. Clair Law Offices at (206) 578-2200 or contact her online.

About the Author

Coleen D. St. Clair

Ms. St. Clair is a former senior prosecuting attorney with over 25 years experience handling criminal cases. She has successfully handled tens of thousands of criminal and DUI cases with remarkable results.


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