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New alcohol patch could reduce drunk driving

Seattle drivers may soon have a new tool to help them avoid drinking and driving. A company in New Mexico has developed an arm patch that can let people know when they have consumed too much alcohol to safely get behind the wheel.

The ONUSBlue patch, which was developed by DermaTec, is designed to sense people's alcohol level through the sweat on their skin. As they consume alcohol, it changes color, letting them know they can no longer safely drive. DermaTec was inspired to develop the patch because New Mexico has one of the highest DWI rates in the United States.

DermaTec has already received some grants and is working to obtain more funds to mass-produce the ONUSBlue patch. The startup company hopes to work with bars, restaurants and other businesses to make customized patches for designated drivers. It also aims to sell the product to families and friends to encourage road safety and responsibility.

Seattle drivers convicted of drunk driving charges can face severe consequences, including incarceration, heavy fines and the loss of driving privileges. However, an individual charged with DUI may be able to fight the allegations and protect their future by consulting with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney could protect a defendant's rights during legal proceedings and work to build a strong defense based on the circumstances of the case. For example, an attorney may be able to dispute the accuracy of any Breathalyzer or field sobriety tests that are submitted into evidence, which could lead to a dismissal of charges. In other cases, it may be best to negotiate a plea deal that allows the defendant to plead guilty to lesser charges.

Source: KOB 4, "Albuquerque company develops anti-DWI patch," Erica Zucco, Sept. 8, 2016

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