In the United States alone, drunk driving car accidents are responsible for approximately 12,000 deaths annually. Additionally, 900,000 people are arrested on average every year for driving under the influence, one-third of them being repeat offenders. Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed on average, a person is killed about every hour in a drunk driving accident, and someone is injured about every minute.
Americans are growing increasingly aware of the consequences of driving under the influence, and modern technology is providing new ways to contribute to drunk driving prevention. These days, people look to smartphone apps for just about everything, including an accountability buddy they can trust to tell them when they’ve had enough. While the best way to avoid alcohol related accidents is to not drink at all, there are some smartphone apps developers claim will facilitate good decisions while drinking. Apps like Alcohoot, Breathometer, and Drink Tracker name a few.
The Alcohoot App is boasted as the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer. Different from your typical App Store device, the Alcohoot system includes a small breathalyzer you can hook up to a smartphone through Bluetooth. Working as accurately as a police-grade breathalyzer, the user can breath into the device to determine their blood alcohol level to within a hundredth of a percent. Depending on the blood alcohol content of the user, this nifty gadget can help sober you up by suggesting nearby restaurants, and safely get you home by providing a “phone a friend” component or even order you a cab.
With the goal of preventing alcohol related mishaps, this app also functions to test the blood alcohol content of the user with nothing more than a smartphone and a device. Providing an accurate blood alcohol content (BAC) is the sole feature, but the company believes providing awareness of how drunk a person really is, will assist in wise decision making to deter drinking and driving. Breathometer is not available to the public until this summer, but is highly anticipated for its affordable price and quality design.
This app utilizes a personal breathalyzer simulator, without the use of a device like the Alcohoot and Breathometer system. After filling out a personal profile complete with age, height, and weight, users enter a list of drinks they plan on consuming during a given time. The calculator will routinely evaluate your metabolic removal rate along with your alcohol intake, and update your BAC every minute. Available in three different versions exclusively to iPhone users, this app utilizes Google Maps and Auto-Tweet to let followers know when you’ve had a drink.
Using smartphone technology for substance abuse prevention can be with good intention. However, when individuals engage in activities where alcohol is abused there is always a level of risk. Alcohol can severely inhibit ones senses and rational thinking, and there’s no app in the world that can reverse the effects of that. Technology should never be promoted as a more effective method than traditional forms of treatment or one-on-one counseling. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol abuse, or makes dangerous choices while under the influence, it’s best to get help from qualified professionals.Tags: Alcohol abuse, Alcoholism, Apps, drinking and driving, Drunk Driving, PSA, smartphone, teen alcohol abuse