BREATHALYZER HOLDER

A breathalyzer holder having an opaque body for retaining a breathalyzer having an electrical connection and a blow-tube. The breathalyzer holder includes a body having a lower hole to allow an electrical cable to pass through the body to electrically connect to the breathalyzer. The breathalyzer holder also includes a lid having an aperture that allows a breathalyzer blow tube to pass through to allow a user to blow into the breathalyzer.

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Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The presently disclosed subject matter is directed towards a device for assisting in the prevention of drunk driving.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Driving while drunk or alcohol impaired is almost universally considered to be dangerous activity. Statistics and scientific studies, combined with common sense and experience, prove that drivers with high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) are at a greatly increased risk of accidents and vehicular deaths.

Over the years law enforcement, legislatures, and courts have given the problem of drunk driving a high priority. Courts routinely suspend or revoke driver licenses of those convicted of drunk driving, vehicles are frequently impounded by law enforcement personnel when they suspect a driver is drunk, some jurisdictions require special vehicle plates after a drunk driving conviction, open container laws are implemented and enforced, high fines are issued, mandatory alcohol education classes are usually required, jail or prison time is often ordered, and insurance rates rise dramatically after a conviction.

Despite the foregoing punishments, repeat convictions for drunk driving are frustratingly common. In response those concerned with driver safety have turned to technology to try to reduce recidivist drunk and impaired driving. Numerous attempts have been made to develop devices which prevent automobiles and the like from being operated by drunk or impaired drivers. One well accepted device is the breathalyzer. By tying the starting of a vehicle to passing a breathalyzer test the incidents of recidivist drunk driving can be significantly reduced. One common approach is to implement an ignition interlock system with a breathalyzer test result. In a typical breathalyzer-interlock system a driver must pass a breathalyzer test to start a vehicle and then pass another breathalyzer test at some time interval, say every 15 or 30 minutes, to keep the vehicle operating.

Breathalyzers have been so successful that courts in some areas will not permit a driver who has been convicted of drunk driving from having a driver's license unless a breathalyzer-interlock system is installed and used on the vehicle they drive. Furthermore, attempts at defeating or otherwise evading the breathalyzer-interlock system can be and are punished by fines, jail time, additional loss of license, and/or vehicle impoundment or confiscation.

While breathalyzer-interlock systems are generally successful they do present a problem of potential embarrassment to the vehicle's driver. While many would be unsympathetic to that problem in the case of someone convicted of drunk driving, such embarrassment can cause some operators to attempt to remove or disconnect the systems. This reduces the effectiveness of the breathalyzers. Furthermore, some drivers recognize that they have a drinking problem and voluntarily add breathalyzer-interlock systems to their vehicles even though they have not been convicted or ordered to do so. Potential embarrassment can reduce the number of drivers who do so, a fact that could cost lives. Finally, temporary drivers of a vehicle having a breathalyzer interlock system might also be embarrassed to drive a vehicle that is so equipped.

Therefore, a holder for a breathalyzer-interlock system that reduces or prevents driver embarrassment would be beneficial.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The principles of the present invention provide for a breathalyzer holder that prevents or reduces embarrassment to a driver or operator of a vehicle equipped with a breathalyzer-interlock system. A breathalyzer holder according to those principles had an opaque body for retaining a breathalyzer having an electrical connection and a blow-tube. The breathalyzer holder includes a body having a lower hole to allow an electrical cable to pass into the breathalyzer holder to electrically connect to the breathalyzer. The breathalyzer holder also includes a lid having an aperture that allows a breathalyzer blow tube to pass through to allow a user to blow into the breathalyzer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following detailed description and claims when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a prototypical breathalyzer;

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the prototypical breathalyzer illustrated in FIG. 1 showing both its electrical connection and an electrical cable to an ignition interlock;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of a prototypical breathalyzer housed inside a breathalyzer holder that is in accord with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the prototypical breathalyzer and the breathalyzer holder illustrated in FIG. 3,

FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective view of the prototypical breathalyzer and breathalyzer holder illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 showing the electrical cable to the ignition; and

FIG. 6 is an illustration of a breathalyzer holder in accord with the principles of the present invention being used inside a vehicle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The presently disclosed subject matter now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings in which an embodiment is shown. However, it should be understood that this invention may take many different forms and thus should not be construed as being limited to the specific embodiment set forth herein. Note that in the figures that like numbers refer to like elements throughout.

The principles of the present invention are illustrated herein with reference to FIGS. 1 to 6. Specifically, the principles of the present invention provide for a holder for a breathalyzer. FIG. 1 illustrates a prototypical breathalyzer 10, which is not meant to illustrate any particular breathalyzer, any manufacturer, or any specific model. Rather, it is a generic device having traits common among breathalyzers. However, important to the principles of the present invention is that the prototypical breathalyzer 10 has a blow tube 12 and an electrical connection 14. Usually a breathalyzer 10 will also include operation buttons 16 (such as reset and start buttons), some type of data input 18 (such as a keypad or touch screen), and a display 20. FIG. 2 shows a bottom perspective view of an electrical cable 60 that runs to an ignition interlock (not shown) and that connects to the electrical connection 14.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, briefly during operation a user turns on the breathalyzer 10 using one or more operation buttons 16 (or it comes on automatically when a driver turns the ignition key), enters data using the data input 18, if required, waits for directions to be shown on the display 20, blows into the blow tube 12 when directed, waits for the breathalyzer result to be displayed on the display 20, and then starts a vehicle after the breathalyzer 10 sends control signals out of the electrical connection 14 to an ignition interlock device (not shown) via the electrical cable 60.

FIG. 3 illustrates a breathalyzer holder 28 that is in accord with the principles of the present invention. The breathalyzer holder 28 includes a removable lid 30 that attaches to a body 32. The prototypical breathalyzer 10 fits inside the breathalyzer holder 28 such that the blow tube 12 passes through an aperture 38 in the lid 30. At the bottom of the body 32 is a molded plastic pillow 40 that is configured to form fit with the prototypical breathalyzer 10. This protects the prototypical breathalyzer 10, positions it in the correct orientation to fit the breathalyzer holder, and orientates the blow tube 12 toward the aperture 38. The plastic pillow 40 includes a hole 42 under the electrical connection 14. That hole 42 allows the electrical cable 60 to mate to the electrical connection 14. FIG. 4 illustrates a bottom view of the body 32 when the electrical connection 14 is not connected, while FIG. 5 illustrates the same view when the electrical cable 60 mates with the electrical connection 14.

FIG. 3 also shows an opening 46 that allows a user to operate the operation buttons 16. If the prototypical breathalyzers 10 does not require that a user interact with the operation buttons 16 then the opening 46 can be omitted or, if present, closed by a window piece (not shown). It should be understood that in some models of the breathalyzer holder 28 that there will be no opening 46.

FIG. 6 illustrates the breathalyzer holder 28 being used by a driver 50 of a car 52. The prototypical breathalyzer 10 (not shown) is placed inside the breathalyzer holder 28 such that the blow tube 12 extends out of the breathalyzer holder 28. The electrical cable 60 passes though the breathalyzer holder 28 and makes contact with the electrical connection 14. To start the car 52 the user 50 uses the breathalyzer 10 by blowing into the blow tube 12. If the driver 50 is not drunk appropriate electrical signals from the breathalyzer 10 pass through electrical cable 60 to allow the car 52 to start. Meanwhile the breathalyzer holder 28 shields the prototypical breathalyzer 10 from view, which saves the driver 50 from embarrassment.

It should be understood that the breathalyzer holder 28 is simply an embodiment of the present invention. Therefore, it is to be understood that while the figures and the above description illustrate the present invention, they are exemplary only. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. Others who are skilled in the applicable arts will recognize numerous modifications and adaptations of the illustrated embodiments that remain within the principles of the present invention. Therefore, the present invention is to be limited only by the appended claims.

Claims

1. A breathalyzer holder, comprising:

a body for retaining a breathalyzer having an electrical connection and a blow-tube, said body including a hole to allow an electrical cable to pass into the breathalyzer holder to electrically connect to the electrical connection; and
a lid having an aperture to allow a breathalyzer blow tube to pass through;
wherein said body and said lid are configured to attach together such that said blow tube passes thought said aperture; and
wherein said body and said lid are comprised of an opaque material such that a breathalyzer inside the breathalyzer holder is not readily visible.

2. The breathalyzer holder according to claim 1, further included a pillow for hold a breathalyzer when that breathalyzer is inside said breathalyzer holder.

Patent History

Publication number: 20120234708
Type: Application
Filed: Mar 19, 2011
Publication Date: Sep 20, 2012
Inventor: Michael Chabot (Dillon, CO)
Application Number: 13/052,048

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: For A Household Appliance (206/320)
International Classification: B65D 85/00 (20060101);