This Breathalyzer Lock Helps Prevent Drunk Biking

Alcoho-Lock / Alcoho-Lock

Drunk-riding a bike isn't much safer than drunk-driving a car. According to Outside, a 2013 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 26 percent of cyclists involved in fatal encounters with motor vehicles had been drinking. And in Japan, the statistics are so grim that bikers who imbibe and ride are slapped with a ¥1 million fine (about $8142) or face a maximum five-year prison sentence.

That's why a bike shop in Tokyo called KOOWHO invented the Alcoho-Lock. If a rider with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit blows into the combination bicycle lock/breathalyzer, the device alerts a pre-selected emergency contact. The contact can then give the biker a ride home, or at least convince them to ditch the wheels until they sober up. (The lock opens regardless of whether you're buzzed or not.)

However, some researchers who study alcohol consumption are skeptical. They worry that people will use the lock to justify drinking and biking when they're tipsy, but not quite drunk. Just because you're not "legally" drunk doesn't mean you're not impaired, the experts point out. Nevertheless, it's always a good idea to have a sober companion nearby when you've imbibed—especially one who's only a breath away.

The Alcoho-Lock is currently available for pre-order, and can be purchased online.

[h/t Outside]