A group of high school students in Toronto are taking a stand against drunk driving with SpitStrips, a product they’ve created to self-test blood-alcohol levels on the go.
So how does it work?
The up-and-coming company consists of 16 teens ranging from ninth to twelfth grade. The team have developed plastic strips with a reactive tip that, when licked or spat on, will change colour in 2 minutes to indicate the level of alcohol in the blood stream from .02 per cent up to .30 per cent. SpitStrips can be used prior to breastfeeding in addition to deciding whether someone should be behind the wheel.
Inspired to make a change
17-year old Devika Lekshmi, co-president of SpitStrips, said the creation was a response to the fatalities she and her peers have witnessed all too often in the media.
“Something that came in the news quite recently was the Marco Muzzo incident, where the three kids and the grandfather died in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, and that kind of sparked a story within Toronto and everyone close to home …it hit everyone close to home. That’s kind of the main reason we started it because of that story and many other stories that have resonated with us so much, we wanted to create an impasse in the community to prevent the lives that are lost to drunk driving.”
From school project to full-time business
The product was first launched at SAGE innovation Hackathon, a youth competition ran through Ryerson University to showcase business creations, where the group won first place in 2015. Now, SpitStrips is ready to sell the prototype to bars and other store locations where they might promote responsible drinking. They are seeking funding through an Indiegogo campaign, and Lekshmi said the group also hopes to get the attention of MADD to host an assembly at their school.
To check out the Indiegogo page click here.