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Tostitos breathalyzer bags are nifty, but not a real test of sobriety in Arizona

PHOENIX — As it turns out, neither Ponch from “Chips” nor a bag of chips are good methods for stopping a DUI.

Tostitos has introduced a chip bag that doubles as a breathalyzer ahead of Super Bowl weekend. If the bag detects any alcohol on a person’s breath, it lights up with a red steering wheel and a “don’t drink and drive” message. It also displays an Uber discount code.

While the bag is nifty, Arizona officials said it should not be treated as a real test of impairment.

“You cannot expect to use a chip bag or any other device like it as a defense,” Amanda Jacinto with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said.

The bags are not currently not being sold at grocery stores, but Jacinto said they want to be sure people remember it’s an awareness tool, not a legal defense.

“Anything that can be used as an awareness tool should be seen as just that,” she said.

Jacinto said, if you are using a bag of chips to check your sobriety level, it’s probably time to find a ride home, especially given Arizona’s zero-tolerance approach to drinking and driving.

“In Arizona we are strict liability state for DUI enforcement,” she said. “What that means is somebody does not need to know that they are impaired or what their alcohol level is to be charged with driving under the influence.”

With all the events going on in the Valley this time of year, Jacinto said DUI patrols are out in full-force. If charged with driving while under the influence, a person could face jail time, loss of their license and thousands of dollars in fines.

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