Promilless Takes the Guess Work Out of Gauging Sobriety in 2 Minutes

A Finnish company, Goodwiller, has developed an alcohol test which tests blood alcohol levels using saliva, in collaboration with VTT. The test is compact, fitting into a wallet or pocket and easy to use; it can indicate whether an individual is legally able to drive in a matter of minutes. Driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a serious and concerning safety hazard for self and others, and often times use of alcohol changes perception of one’s capabilities. Having a test which one can depend on takes the guess work out of it.

How the “Intelligent Paper” Test Works

The test, “Promilless” was created from biochemical ingredients and is conducted on “intelligent paper.” It’s somewhat similar in design as an at home pregnancy test, or a urine dipstick, with a long strip to hold onto and 2 areas for the saliva sample to come into contact with at one end. The 2 collection areas are demarcated by 2 green lines, and 2 yellow lines. When saliva comes into contact with the collection areas the area in between the two green lines will turn green, and if blood alcohol level is above 0.2% the area in yellow will also turn green. If there is no change in the “yellow zone” then blood alcohol level is below 0.2%. It takes about 2 minutes.

Test Indicates Blood Alcohol Levels at 0.2%

It is very interesting that the test indicates blood alcohol levels at 0.2%, a level of intoxication which even in Finland, where the test was developed, is far above the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle (0.05% is the legal limit in Finland). The legal limits for most places in the world range from 0% to .08%, so the test, while it would certainly indicate that you were unsafe to drive if both areas were activated, may give a false sense of security. However, it could certainly have its utility for gauging level of sobriety up to this point, and deterring individuals from driving when they clearly are not safe to do so.

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Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.

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