DUI’s Begone!

DUI Begone!Consider this.  The NTSB has recommended lowering the allowable Blood Alochol Content (BAC) for drivers.  Meaning, anyone driving after consuming even a modest amount of alcohol will be subject to ticketing, fines, and higher insurance rates.  Even the august attendees at my monthly tastings will likely be over the proposed legal limit.  Perhaps that’s not true for the spitters, but the swallowers won’t stand a chance.  Wring your hands with me as we say in unison “Something must be done!”

The Dui Solution!Enter an unlikely savior – the “driverless” car.   Though the NTSB standards are likely to be approved before such cars are readily available to the average 99%er, a recent NYT article (and blog post) highlighted the disruptive influence of driverless cars on city planners, insurance companies, and highway engineers.  If the nation’s roads were left entirely to these vehicular robots, traffic lights, parking meters and downtown garages would become as quaintly outdated as the buggy whip.

No more DUI's!Accidents would decrease dramatically, impacting insurance rates and saving up to 42,000 U.S. lives each year.  Seem unlikely?  Consider that driverless cars are immune to fatigue and human distractions like texting, attending to kids (“don’t make me come back there!”), changing radio stations, spilling hot coffee on their lap, or applying makeup/shaving/flossing while driving (come on, you know you’ve seen all that, and more!)  And because robots have lightning-quick reflexes they can drive at higher speeds AND with less distance between vehicles, thus reducing the need for expensive highway expansion.  The whole concept boggles the mind as much as a weekend TED conference.  See more about driverless cars on Google’s YouTube video here or on the (Vaynerchuck-stylized?) Tech Feed here.

OK, so you see where I’m going.  Not only could a driverless vehicle make you safer and more productive during your rush-hour commute, you could enjoy a drink with friends or family and arrive home safe and sound and DUI-free.  

And all the other potential benefits aside, I find this the greatest of them all.  ;-)


Dave the Wine Merchant

Breathometer – Buy One Now!

I value all of the buyers in my online wine shop and want them to stay alive, out of jail, and free of DUI blemishes.  So if you’re one of my customers you simply have to buy one of these Breathometers – perhaps the best $50 you’ll ever spend.  Click here to buy.  

What’s a Breathometer?
Just blow into the BreathometerThe Breathometer is a small device that is used in tandem with a dedicated smartphone app to provide an instant read of  your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).  

Just plug the portable device into the audio jack of your smartphone, open the app, and blow into the sensor to get an instant, color-coded read of your BAC – green means you’re good to go, red means you’d better book alternate transportation (see photo at right)!  Don't drive if your Breathomete reads RED!

The Breathometer isn’t the cheapest portable breathalizer you can find, but it’s easier to use than other models, and because it uses just a small attachment to your ever-present smart phone, is more likely to be available when and where you need it.  This just-in-time presence is it’s greatest benefit, as we already know from the success of weight-loss programs involving wireless connections between scale and smartphones, allowing dieters to automatically monitor their progress.

There’s a handy Youtube video for this new product, but my TypePad blog software seems unwilling to embed videos, so you’ll have to click here to watch it in a new window

Future Development Plans
The Breathometer is new – in fact it’s still in Beta – and is currently taking orders for future deliveries (the website has conflicting information – one page says the device begins shipping this summer, another says January 2014).  And while experience has taught me it’s never wise to mention features that are not included in the current release, the company says these two enhancements are currently in the works:

  • The app will record and “learn” your metabolic rate and use it to predict how much time you’ll need before your BAC returns to a safe driving level
  • Whenever your BAC enters the red zone, a button will allow you to dial a taxi with a single tap

This intelligent device is the brain child of serial entrepreneur, Charles Yim, who led the mobile division of Plum District and the founder of the neighborhood rewards program “Chatterfly”.  To fund his current venture, he used the the crowd-sourced site Indiegogo, and has already surpassed his initial goal.  His Bay Area roots include graduating from Stanford’s Executive Development Program.  

I wish Charles great success with his life-saving product. Click here to buy the Breathometer ($50).


Dave the Wine Merchant

The Ethical Marketer

LohanMarketing consultants would advise me to improve profits by "targeting" that portion of the population they describe as "heavy users."  So let me ask you:

Is it ethcial to contact Ms. Lohan about joining my wine club?

I jest, of course.  That’s the last thing the poor girl needs. 

Lindsay’s recent troubles serve as a reminder that alcohol is a two-edged sword.  It increases health and happiness when used judiciously, or tears lives apart when abused.  Here’s to judicious.  And to our ongoing freedom to make a personal choice and live with the consequences.

Dave Chambers, Wine Merchant