The Problem with the Tostitos Bag Breathalyzer
Right around Super Bowl time the commercials start running. And while warning us against drinking and driving may seem like a no-brainer, some brands try to capitalize on the season of binge drinking with a gimmick.
This year, it’s the Tostitos Party Safe Bag. The tortilla chip bag comes with a built in “breathalyzer”. If alcohol is detected on your breath, the bag can even help you call an Uber. These limited edition bags will not be sold to the general public, but Frito Lay has partnered with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to provide 25,000 Uber coupon codes to consumers. The codes will be available on participating bags of Tostitos chips sold at retailers.
And while we are in favor of any product or service that reminds people not to drink and drive, breathalyzer accuracy is the key issue with marketing gimmicks.
Accuracy is the most important element in determining whether or not it is safe to drive. The battery-powered breathalyzer in the Party Safe Bag opens up a larger dialogue about breathalyzers and the spectrum of accuracy. It appears that Tostitos knows their Party Safe Bag breathalyzer is inaccurate and unreliable since they won’t sell it commercially.
Commercial breathalyzers tend to fall low on the accuracy spectrum. These breathalyzers are often cheaply made, and while they can give you a vague idea of whether or not it’s safe to drive, they’ve also been known to underestimate BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) and give an incorrect reading.
On the high end of the accuracy spectrum are breathalyzers like Soberlink. These Devices take accuracy seriously as BAC readings can have any number of impacts on a person’s life. Whether it’s deciding if it’s safe to drive, keeping your recovery on track, or proving sobriety for child custody arrangements, Soberlink puts accuracy and reliability above all else. Users can stay safe in various situations with Soberlink Devices.
The Super Bowl, and events like it, seem to incite or encourage episodes of binge drinking. And marketing gimmicks like the Party Safe Bag, while seemingly developed with the best of intentions, can have a darker side. They can contribute to our binge-drinking culture as a sort of challenge for consumers. The Party Safe Bag will inevitably turn into a game between buddies that perverts its intentions with the first challenge of: “Who can drink enough to light up the bag first?”
In addition to condoning or encouraging episodic binge drinking, this time of year can act as a dangerous trigger for people recovering from Alcohol Use Disorders. If you’re in recovery, find a way to stay accountable on Super Bowl Sunday to help keep you on track. Stay safe with Soberlink.