A Winnipeg traffic police officer is advising against trusting coin-operated breathalyzer machines that are becoming common in bars and restaurants.
Sgt. Rob Riffel says the breathalyzer units operated by police are high-tech devices that get recalibrated frequently to detect blood alcohol levels.
The inexpensive do-it-yourself units that are available to the public are simply not reliable enough to bet your licences on, he said.
"You know what" I think it's a great little party gag to sit around with your friends, have a few drinks and just sort of see how you are, how you are feeling," Riffel said Thursday.
"I certainly wouldn't stake a criminal record on using something like that, and then driving."
The easiest way to avoid an impaired-driving charge, Riffel said, is to leave your vehicle at home before heading out for a couple of drinks.
"To put your faith in an instrument in a bar to make the decision to drive or not, I don't think is a great decision for anybody," he said.
CBC News recently uncovered concerns about the Burn Victims Aid Society, a Toronto-based group that is asking restaurateurs to install its coin-operated breathalyzer units to raise money for charity.
The Burn Victims Aid Society says on its website that it works with local firefighters. But the Firefighters Burn Fund in Manitoba says it only heard about the society when a concerned restaurateur contacted them.