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Future Tech: 

This breathalyzer lock puts a block on biking and boozing


Seasonal advertising and the promise of tough punishments help to minimize drink driving during christmas, but what about cycling under the influence? Japanese company Koowho may have the solution.

It’s called Alcohol-Lock, combining a conventional bike lock with a breathalyzer. The ingenious wheel clamp asks cyclists to pass a breath test to release their ride, and, providing they pass, they can pedal home safely. Should they fail, however, they won’t be going anywhere in a hurry.

The breathalyzer lock is also connected to a smartphone app, which alerts the cyclist’s partner or friends if they attempt to unlock their bike under the influence. After receiving an alert, the nominated person is then encouraged to call their inebriated loved one and convince them not to ride home.

Biking under the influence of booze doesn’t get nearly the same amount of coverage as drink driving, but it can be deadly. A 2013 report from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found that 26% of fatal bike accidents involved drunk cyclists. In Japan, it’s also illegal to drink and ride, and perpetrators could face a maximum five years in prison.

Whether or not Alocoho-Lock will be an effective deterrent remains to be seen, but at the very least it raises awareness for the issues severity. The breathalyzer bike locks aren’t on sale yet but are available to pre-order, priced at around $240.

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