The risks associated with drinking and driving have been well documented. In fact, according to the CDC some 30 people die each and every day in the U.S. in a crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver. If that statistic isn’t enough to get people to seriously consider the effects of drinking and driving, it’s hard to imagine what could. The good news is that there are those out there who are doing their part to eliminate this very serious issue. Many avoid drinking and driving altogether or simply utilize the services of a friend or acquaintance as a designated driver. Technology can even play a role in curbing this scourge once and for all – in the form of mobile apps.
Yes, there are helpful mobile applications out there available for both of the major platforms (iPhone/Android) that can help prevent a fun night out from turning into a tragedy. Here are just a few of the most helpful options.
Think of this iPhone app as a digital record keeper of all drinks imbibed in any given night out. All that’s required of the user is to quickly create a profile that includes basic data such as height and weight and then save the profile for later. The moment the user starts drinking, he or she can then select and input each drink they consume from the one-tap drinks menu. At the end of the evening, the app will tell the user just how much alcohol they have metabolized and what their approximate BAC (blood alcohol content) is. Of course, this is all predicated on the user being honest about how much alcohol he or she consumes.
BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer
Every app option on this list is free – except for this one. In fact, its whopping $150 price tag means it costs more than many MP3 players. However, those who want an accurate representation of their BAC will find it to be money well spent. That’s because most of the money goes to the Breathalyzer apparatus that connects to the user’s iPhone. The program itself is compatible only with iOS and keeps records of drinking habits over time as well.
This is the Android equivalent of DrinkTracker. Like the former, this option allows the user to keep a “drink diary” and clues them in to when they are over the legal limit. The app is also customizable, allowing the user to setup presets based on custom cocktails.
Those who can’t find a designated driver and have had a few too many will likely find this app invaluable. Taxi Magic uses the smartphone’s GPS to deliver a list of cab companies in the general area. Users can select one of the nearest options and then input their credit card in order to quickly pay over the phone. According to the app, the whole process takes little more than three taps of a touch-screen to take care of the entire process. Taxi Magic is available in 60 cities throughout the U.S. as well as some locations in Mexico and the U.K.
While the above options can certainly play a critical role in avoiding a DUI, they should not be used as a substitute for personal responsibility. Because while an app can help decipher if a person has reached his or her limit, it can’t prevent them from crossing a line.
Samantha Hawkins is a professional blogger who discusses criminal defense related topics. She writes for Musca Law, a leading Florida Criminal Defense law firm.