More Bars To Add Breathalyzers In Iowa City

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

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By Liz Blood

IOWA CITY, Iowa - A handful of bars in Iowa City have added breathalyzer machines, and more are expected to do the same by the end of the year.

BE SAFE Iowa, a local business, is behind the effort to put the blood-alcohol machines in as many local bars as possible.

"We have bars coming to us now, and it's just a matter of placing the units," said Becky Russo of BE SAFE Iowa. "We encourage any bar in the area to contact us, and we'll put it up there for them."

BE SAFE Iowa installs units into bars free of charge. The wall mounted machines charge patrons a dollar to test their blood alcohol level.

"It's a safety thing," said Gabe Lynott, an employee at the Airliner in downtown Iowa City. The bar is one of four places in Iowa City using the machines. "It just helps someone gauge whether or not it's okay to drive home."

Advertisements appear on a small color screen when the machine isn't in use. Management at the Airliner said they haven't seen anyone abuse the machine or use it as a game.

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