Did You Know: The History of the Breathalyzer

previewAs the New Year quickly approaches, the joys of family, festivity, and gift-giving (and receiving!) remind us of why this time of year might just be the most pleasant time of the year. Sadly, December is also the most dangerous time of the year to be on the road, and not just because of icy roads and poor visibility: during the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, deaths caused by drunk driving rise 34% compared to the rest of the year. That number would be much lower if the invention we discuss this week, the breathalyzer, was used more frequently.

Drunk driving has been a problem since the invention of the vehicle. As catastrophic as drunk driving is today, it used to be much, much worse: 30% of all traffic fatalities today are caused by drunk drivers, but in the 50s and 60s, that number was closer to 50%.

While the concept of blood-alcohol level became a serious public safety concern with the advent of the automobile, the first serious work into scientifically determining if someone had been drinking started all the way back in 1874, when it was determined that breath, which is much easier to test than blood, could accurately demonstrate how intoxicated someone was.

The quest to calculate blood alcohol level really kicked into gear when cars became the primary means of travel. New York became the first state to create drunk driving laws in 1910, and other states followed suit in fairly short order. In 1927, about midway through Prohibition, Emil Bogen used an empty football to draw correlations between the alcohol content of breath and a person’s blood alcohol level. This was an important step in the invention of the aptly-named drunk-o-meter, a stable breath-testing implement invented by Rolla Harger. In 1954, Robert Borkenstein improved on Harger’s invention, calling his creation the breathalyzer, and the rest is history.

The fight against drunk driving is far from over, and requires a great deal of education and enforcement in the years to come, but the breathalyzer has played a significant role in making America’s roads safer. It’s incredible to think that a device that started as a deflated football saves hundreds of lives a year – here’s hoping the next iterations of the breathalyzer have similarly dramatic impacts.

Welcome to the Family, Genesis!


If you’re anything like us, you watched a lot of football last weekend. And maybe a little golf. And a touch of hockey. Anyway, if you watched football this weekend, chances are good you saw more than a couple advertisements for the official luxury vehicle of the NFL: the Genesis. Continue reading “Welcome to the Family, Genesis!”

2015 Hyundai Elantra Top Safety Pick Saves the Day!

Welcome to another edition of Testimonial Tuesday. Today we’re introducing you to Tiffany. She’s stoked to be driving back to Klamath Falls in her sporty 2015 Silver Hyundai Elantra. We always like to get a little backstory on how customers come through our doors and hers was quite a tale.

HyundaiTiffanyTestiTiffany was rear-ended at school earlier this year and suffered a minor concussion. Not to mention her car was totaled. So, her grandparents, Bill and Glenda, stepped up to help her find a safe, reliable and affordable vehicle. Enter: the 2015 Hyundai Elantra. It just took home one of the Insurance Institutes for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Picks for 2015.** 

“Butler Hyundai was just really helpful and friendly, laid back, relaxed – no pressure,” remarked Bill. “Plus Frank was really great.”

They found this little gem online at butlerhyundai.com, called us, connected with Frank Liva and within a week got their granddaughter into a stunning, safe vehicle with an affordable lease and incredible warranty.
“We were also really impressed by the 20 year, 200,000 mile warranty,” said Tiffany. “You can’t beat that!”

We wish you all the best Tiffany! These are the the kind of stories that make us do what we do – finding the right vehicle at the right time for right person and seeing that smile on their smile. Take a look at that smile! It’s called the “new car smile” (and goes hand in hand with that coveted “new car smell”.) Happy #TestimonialTuesday everyone!

**To qualify for 2015 TOP SAFETY PICK, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap front test.

Hyundai Sonata is KBB’s Best Family Car of 2015

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata just took home one of those most prestigious awards in the auto industry. The stylish 2015 Hyundai 2015-hyundai-sonata_100464064_lSonata was named a Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com Best Family Car of 2015. “Best Family Cars” award winners need to provide families with safety, comfort, compatibility with car seats, cargo space, rear-seat entertainment and extra features.  The 2015 Sonata has all of these features.

“The redesigned Sonata continues to deliver on key attributes that are important to today’s families – safety, value, technology, ride and roominess,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Later this year, the affordable Sonata will be equipped with Apple® CarPlay and Android® Auto, providing families with the ability to make calls, send messages, use navigation, stream music and more straight from their smartphones. In addition to an added level of convenience, this can improve safety by reducing distraction, owing to the familiar smartphone interface.”

The totally revamped 2015 Sonata features an innovative Fluidic Sculpture 2.0™ design language, stiffer body structure, better ride quality, reduced noise, vibration and harshness and advanced safety and convenience features.

This title continues to highlight Sonata’s appeal to family buyers as it also recently won the Cars.com, USA TODAY, MotorWeek Midsize Sedan Challenge and was named the Best Midsize Car for the Money by U.S. News & World Report. Hyundai continues to surpass many other manufacturer’s in their quality vehicles and we are Hyundai proud at Butler Hyundai!