Well, that's a touch insulting. I never said to use it alone without any kind of critical thinking. Like any other tool we use, this would only be useful in conjunction with a physical examination and as an additional piece of information to help us. All data we acquire needs to be interpreted and put into context and this would be no different.Or you could just use your brain instead of wasting time with a cheap breathalyzer. If they don't smell of booze, and the scene is not indicitive of them sipping the apple juice, more than likely they are not drunk enough to be unconcious.
To mention the glucometer analogy again that seemed to get everyone riled up, isn't this the same as arriving to find an unconscious, diaphoretic, known type I diabetic? We've run him before, we know he often forgets to eat after taking insulin, and we expect to find him to be hypoglycemic. We could simply assume he is and treat him with D50, and that would be a fair assumption. Sometimes though, that assumption is wrong and could be with our suspected ETOHers as well.
Look, either way we all agree that the treatment doesn't need to change, the number is relative and subject to interpretation, and that either way the patient should be treated the same and transported to the hospital. I don't understand the opposition to a simple POC test though that is non-invasive and could give us a diagnostic clue as a rule out for pure intoxication in someone that might otherwise be suspicious for the same. 99% of what we do is trying to get the ball rolling for the ED and accomplishing some of the early tasks to put them a couple steps of where they would be otherwise. Isn't this a small, small extension to that same goal?