MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Whether it’s one drink or several, there comes a point when we all reach our limit. Now, there’s a new interactive game popping up in Twin Cities bars meant to raise awareness about drinking and driving.

After a friend got a DWI back in 2008, Ryan Walden came up with idea of the IntoxBox as a way to educate people about their blood alcohol level. It’s a breathalyzer, but it also turns the test into a type of game.

“So far, we’ve had a lot of good reactions,” said Walden.

The IntoxBox is an interactive breathalyzer. People pay $2 and then guess their blood alcohol level. If they get it right, they get the next test for free.

“We found that it actually helps people create points of reference with their intoxication by reflecting on their BAC,” said Walden.

On Thursday night at Joe Sensor’s, customer Joey Vandermause put it to the test. He predicted, after two hours of drinking, that his blood alcohol level would be a .07. However, he was well beyond that at .11.

“I did think I was below and yet I was too drunk. I think a lot of people are in the same boat,” said Vandermause.

Not everyone sees the IntoxBox as a deterrent for drunk drivers.

“We don’t approve of it and we don’t like it,” said Lynn Goughler, of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Goughler said she worries that the IntoxBox will encourage people to turn drinking into a game. She also pointed out that breathalyzers don’t take into account all the alcohol that’s still being absorbed in the system.

“You can walk out of a bar having blown maybe a .06 or .07, and 30 minutes from now be at a .09 or a .10,” said Goughler.

Walden knows his machine won’t solve the problem, but at the very least, it’s giving them a tool to make the right decision.

“It at least puts the decision in their hands, so they’re responsible,” said Walden.

Comments (23)
  1. Lorilei Gleeson says:

    This is probably the stupidest invention ever. Let’s turn drunk driving into a game! I already have friends who have used this device for exactly that.

    I think a better idea would be providing a free/donation taxi service that drives people home when they are too drunk. Many US cities already provide this. I was able to do this in San Francisco and was able to get back to my hotel for free! I tipped the guy $10 because he was nice enough to drive drunk people around all night long for donations!

    Why do people think it’s ever ok to drive even after ONE drink?? Minnesota standards say I can have four drinks and still legally drive. I can barely walk after four. Yes, this means I’m a lightweight, but that makes me wonder what other “lightweights” are driving around…

    When will America wake up and FINALLY do the smart thing and eliminate the problem by making the BAC the equivalent to ONE drink and permanently revoking licenses for law breakers?

    Europeans don’t have major drunk driving problems because of strict laws like this. I’m an American living in Ireland. If I was pulled over while following the four drink Minnesota standard, I’d lose my license for 3 years and pay a fine of €5,000/$7,100. There are checkpoints EVERYWHERE stopping people on busy weekends. The problems with drunk driving are almost a thing of the past here.

    I can see why MADD doesn’t like this. I’ve had 5 friends die from drunk driving in Minnesota. All of them were driving.

    1. See BS says:

      Minnesota profits from drunk driving, the goal of drunk driving laws is to give someone arrested for drunk driving “Stockholm Syndrome”, pay MADD $300 to stay out of jail, or a treatment place that ignores the 7th tradition of AA and charges health insurance or the State thousands of dollars. And of course the $800 dollars for their license back.

      Essentially Minnesota Courtrooms allow you to bribe liberal bible bangers to stay out of jail.

      I have lived in Cities with 24 hour mass transit and free shuttle services for drinking establishments, but in Minnesota that might put Stuart Smalley out of business, and people use it.

      Taxi, Shuttle and Mass Transit workers are better equipped to stop drunk driving than the millions of dollars going to MADD and “Court Ordered” Treatment places.

    2. get help people says:

      WOW….. you have nothing better to do on a fri, night then this rant?? NEWS FLASH just because cco decided to state it doesnt men it just came out.. lol and on top of this fruit why talk liberal C R A P? you need a life as well

      1. See BS says:

        Minneapolis is out in the middle of a corn field next to Iowa, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. I highly doubt that you even know what trendy is, am I suppose to be making a sculpture out of butter on a Saturday morning? Or do you milk cows?

        1. HUH!?! says:

          no idea what you even tried to say with your babble..

          1. See BS says:

            Obviously my babbling is botherng you, so I must be saying something right 😉

            1. sounds to be architect says:

              never said it was bothering me at all.. lol you just make no sense whatsoever

              1. See BS says:

                No – I think you like me, I can tell

                1. @See bs says:

                  He says Minneapolis is in the middle of a cornfield, nothing to do, yet he sits on this website at 3:25 in the afternoon on a saturday, sounds like you have a really fun life, you talk as you don’t even live here, yet go on this minneapolis based website and talk smack, If I looked in a bag of tools, you’d be the biggest one in there…

              2. See BS says:

                You are right here with me making comments, so I guess I’m not the only one who needs a life.

                Are you stuck indoors with a PC or something?

                1. @See bs says:

                  Actually I had just got home from work, now im going to relax until about 9pm then the girl and I are going to go meet some friends, there’s plenty to do if you have friends to enjoy doing things with, Minnesota can sustain you moving if it’s so miserable to live here.

                2. See BS says:

                  And I just got back unibicycling around Lake Nokomis wearing extra tight spandex pants and a bicycle helmet, my hand is sore from gripping the seat, but people looked at me like I was gripping something else. Now I am going to planet of the apes with a friend.

                  What’s your point?

    3. Alex V says:

      They can get away with laws like this in Europe because their public transportation systems actually work. The public transportation in Minneapolis is unusable except during rush hour, and even then you have to wait 1/2 hour for some buses. I would support lowering it to .04, if several billion dollars of funding (at least) to expand transit in the twin cities was attached to the bill. I think this could actually be a useful tool for transit advocates, the message would be simple: expanding transit saves lives but cutting down on drunk driving.

    4. Blake Higgins says:

      I have a PHD is alcohol awareness I am completely appalled by this rant. You are so off base and out of touch with reality in everything you say. It’s like you’re making the argument that there should be no birth control because everyone should be abstinent.

      The fact is that people do go out and drink in bars and drive home, that is a problem and this invention is the first viable solution we’ve seen. We have speedometers in our cars to help us obey the speed limit, yet people who are intoxicated are expected to obey the drinking and driving laws without access to a breathalyzer? Give me a break.

      You and MADD can talk til you’re blue in the face about how people need to stop drinking and driving, but the fact is that in most DUI cases, the offender is breaking the law unknowingly. MADD’s one argument is that a person’s BAC can continue to rise after they take the test, but what wasn’t said was that the IntoxBox tells it’s users 3 times throughout the testing process that their BAC can continue to rise. If your solution is to have a free donation taxi, then what’s stopping you from starting that company? Let’s be serious, we all know that people would take advantage of a free taxi service, and it would be out of business within a week. Clearly you think that the laws could do more to prevent this issue, but while were still living in this country where this is a problem, a breathalyzer seems to be the best solution yet.

      As far as the game aspect goes, there are studies that show that making people guess their BAC and then giving them feedback helps improve their awareness significantly. Furthermore, with other breathalyzers, people make their own games of how high they can blow. At least with this machine, it shifts the focus from “how high” to “can I guess my score.”

      Next time you want to share your opinion, go actually do a little research. Everything you said in your entire rant was incorrect, and you should be embarrassed.

      1. obviously says:

        There will still be a huge number of people that will use this device to see how high they can get, I have no problem with people having to get ignition interlock after 1 d.w.i, its not a total solution but it would help a great deal.

        1. Blake Higgins says:

          There are plenty of people who use their speedometers to see how fast they can drive. Does that mean they should take speedometers out of every car?

      2. Iconoclast the Rainbow Rider says:

        You don’t have the PHd that you are claiming..Even if you did (which you don’t) it just makes you another boring,self important windbag with very tiny genitalia.

        1. Blake Higgins says:

          Whether or not you choose to believe my credentials because of several typos on an internet news story forum is completely irrelevant. The argument I presented is based on facts, and I don’t see anything in your response that remotely disproves anything that was said.

          If you have real information to present that contradicts my beliefs, be my guest. But if you are here to make yourself feel more important by questioning others’ standing, I suggest you speak to someone with a PHd in psychiatry.

    5. March113 says:

      You have 5 friends that died from alcohol and you are still drinking ? Personally I love getting a good buzz too but I gave up booze due to friends deaths and crimes , all while drunk out of their minds. Not one person I know has ever committed a crime buzzed on other choices, except for that crime of liking those natural and some very potent yet safer substances more than the state sanctioned poison they push on the people. Sorry about your friends, I am just venting and sick of the double standards with alcohol,

  2. Mike says:

    “Liberal Bible bangers”? That is an oxymoron equivalent to defining your comments as intelligent observation.

    1. See BS says:

      Mental Health IS “Liberal Bible banging” dude! And if you give liberal bible bangers money and attend their services you won’t go to jail for Drunk Driving.

      It works for many other crimes too.

  3. Újra Tanulok Program - TÁMOP-2.1.6-12/1 pályázat - 2012 says:


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