Now that people can buy their own breathalyzer, we see a small social change in the bar environment. Anyone can see how inebriated they are at a moments notice thanks to the development and commercial availability of personal breathalyzers. The effect on the bar environment is focused on two areas: fun and safety. It is unusual to see these two aspects combined under one device, but it is the case with the portable breathalyzer. You can make sure you avoid DUI with the breathalyzer, or you could have a massive drinking contest with your friends to see who can get the highest reading.
In either case, it provides a necessary service to its user. I do not drink enough to merit my own breathalyzer, but I know people who do, and it has afforded them several opportunities to avoid DUI, and they are certainly thankful for it.
I think it is strange that the interpretation of a breathalyzer changes depending on who is holding it. Police officer? No, thank you. Friends at the bar? Go for the high score. The dynamic aspects of the way we communicate and interpret one another make for an interesting observational perspective on the breathalyzer. What does the development of the personal breathalyzer reinforce in our society?
I believe it reinforces the message of how eponymous alcohol is in our society. To me, the amount of people suffering from addiction alone is an indicator of the need to extensively scale back the importance of alcohol to our culture. The personal breathalyzer is just another facet of that same need. Our society is so expected to drink to excess that the personal breathalyzer is a necessary device. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, honestly.