New Technology in Oregon Bars Battles DUIs


In an ideal libertarian state, the stance on DUIs might be starkly different to what it is today. For starters, roads would be private, and the free market would be the decisive factor in which roads would allow higher alcohol limits (or no limits), which would allow specific speed limits, etc. Of course, logic would dictate that consumers would request that limits be determined for these private roads, simply because the consequences of drink driving are so high. In the most recently compiled statistics by the CDC, for instance, 29% of all traffic-related deaths in the US involved alcohol, and over one million drivers were arrested in one year for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

In this post, we discuss a new incentive which seeks to put sobriety back in the hands of individuals, through technology that can quickly inform them of their blood alcohol levels.

What do Current Laws on DUIs Involve?

In all states, a conviction for DUI can result in fines, loss of one’s license, and even imprisonment. Indeed, getting caught with an above-limit BAC can have serious legal consequences. As Arizona lawyers Tait & Hall note, despite being so common, DUI charges are “among the most complicated to defend.””

One Washington startup in Oregon called Level Head, however, is seeking to reduce convictions and increase individual responsibility by allowing patrons to check their own blood alcohol content (BAC) at bars before they get behind the wheel. The startup owners chanced upon the idea for this machine after struggling with alcoholism in the past and realizing that when it comes to DUIs, personal responsibility is key. The first Level Head machine has already been set up in five bars, with many more establishments expressing interest.

How Does the BAC Machine Work?

To use the machine, party-goers simply have to blow into the device through a provided straw. The machines rely on the same technology as devices used by law enforcement, and they can measure one’s BAC to within 0.1 percent. You might be wondering what a BAC reading would cost; the answer is zero. The aim is to fund the machines through sponsorship, an interesting way for local businesses to prove their commitment to the community.Bartenders can also rely on the machines to calculate when revelers may have had enough alcohol.

If libertarian ideology held sway, there is no doubt that there would be major changes in everything from taxes to government, but interestingly, the view of DUIs might be similar to what it is today, owing to the consequences of drunk driving. Total freedom on the roads would result not only in more accidents, it could be argued, but also an increase torts against road owners and other drivers, making the subject a highly complex one that would need extensive research. Currently, individuals can do their best to avoid harming themselves and others on the road by availing of technology such as that offered by the BAC machine: a free, easy way to test one’s alcohol levels before heading home for the night.


Author: Robert J. Bentley

Defender of #Liberty | Political Scientist & Historian | Founder of The Libertarian Vindicator (

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