Feeling that there’s a need for a security product to deter and prevent today’s youth from drinking, a Nesconset resident has created a device with the hopes of doing both.
Bottle Blocker, according to its creator Richard Michiel, is tamper proof locking device that will fit on any bottle with a neck such as liquor and pill bottles.
“It’s a two-piece invention with a custom latex cap that stretches over the top of the bottle and then there’s a custom locking tie that says ‘Bottle Blocker’ on it,” he said. “The nature of the latex cap is that is actually clings to the bottle by itself and once that locking tie goes on you can’t take it off, it has to be cut off. If a kid goes into the bottle they have to physically cut it off so there’s no way of not knowing if they got in.”
For Michiel, a 10-year Nesconset resident and Smithtown resident since 1976, Bottle Blocker was created out of a societal need.
“5,000 kids die every year in alcohol-related car accidents, that’s just car accidents. According to the government alcohol is the number-one drug problem as far as kids are concerned,” he said. “They don’t drink socially like we would have a drink just to feel good and comfortable while you’re talking, they binge drink because they’re still at that point where they think that they’re vulnerable. They don’t realize the damages that they’re doing to themselves.”
The invention is patent pending, and Michiel applied for a provisional patent more than one year ago, which he said solidifies the invention as having the first patent filing date until the patent process is completed. He filed the final patent paperwork in November of last year.
Michiel, a freelance graphic artist, built a website for Bottle Blocker in December of last year, bottleblocker.com, which is also when he put his product for sale. Currently you could purchase a box of 24 units for $19.95, a lock cutter for $12.95, and a deluxe kit for $49.95 that comes with a metal locking box that holds the replacement units and a lock cutter.
Michiel said he hopes to have Bottle Blocker in liquor and drug stores soon. Most of the Bottle Blocker sales so far, according to Michiel, have been face-to-face, and everyone that he has shown the product that is a parent has made a purchase.