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Skin patch developed to check alcohol consumption

Some New Yorkers might try to avoid the risk of getting stopped for drunk driving by using a designated driver. However, in some cases, that driver might have one or two drinks without realizing the harm that could come from it. A startup called DermaTec has developed a skin patch that measures alcohol intake and changes color when the person's blood alcohol rises above a certain number.

The patch uses a person's sweat to measure alcohol. DermaTec, which is based in New Mexico, says that the patch, ONUSBlue, may have a variety of uses.

For example, the company says that restaurants and bars might want to brand the patches and check customers as they leave. Friends and families might also purchase the patches for loved ones. DermaTec has received grant money and is seeking additional funding so that the patches can be manufactured on a mass scale.

Drunk driving charges can have a serious impact on a person's life. The repercussions are not merely legal. In some cases, a person's career may be affected as well. In an accident where a person is found to be at fault because of drunk driving, there might also be the possibility of a civil lawsuit. A person who is facing drunk driving charges may first want to consider their situation and what the optimal outcome might be. For example, someone who already has multiple convictions might be concerned about avoiding jail time or high fines or losing their license. A person in a prominent career who has never been charged with drunk driving before might want to plead not guilty or work toward having the charges dropped. A plea bargain may be one option because it allows a person to plead guilty to lesser charges. The validity of blood or Breathalyzer tests might also be challenged by the defendant's attorney.

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