It’s not exactly a secret that there are many mobile apps around, and many of them are geared for personal safety. There are apps to measure blood pressure, choose a healthcare provider, there are even apps to help a person stay alive should they find themselves adrift at sea. But there are also mobile applications that can help to protect someone from that most familiar of antagonists – themselves. Yes, drinking and driving is a problem that results in the deaths of some 30 Americans each day, according to the CDC. And if apps can help, then why not give these mobile resources a try?
Of course the market for anti-DUI applications is still a small one, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t quality options. Here are just a few.
BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer — $150
This option is the only paid app on the list – and at some cost. But what people who choose this are actually paying for is a personal Breathalyzer. (The cost covers the mechanical apparatus.) Compatible solely with iOS, the device plugs into the input port of any iPhone/iPad and can be used at the drop of a hat to test the user’s BAC (blood alcohol content). The process is the same as with any other Breathalyzer: the user blows into the device for a set period of time and it produces a reading a short while later.
One other nifty feature this app provides is a drink tracker, which keeps a record of the user’s drinking habits over a period of hours, day and even weeks.
Drink Tracker – free
Another iPhone option, Drink Tracker doesn’t come with an actual apparatus, but as a record keeper of the user’s alcohol consumption, it’s a cracker. The only tasks required of the user are to create an initial profile – including physical stats such as height and weight — within the app and then start the evening’s festivities. As the night goes on, users can hit up the one-tap drink menu to quickly enter the cocktails and spirits imbibed, and the app will keep a record. It will then use this info to present an accurate representation of the user’s BAC. Of course, the user must be honest about his or her drinking behavior, and be diligent in inputting it as well.
Alco Droid – free
Android users who enjoy the occasional cocktail will find drinking responsibly to be a piece of cake with this option. It functions much like Drink Tracker by presenting BAC levels based on physical stats and drinks consumed. This “drink diary” will also chime in audibly when it recognizes the user is over the legal limit. It even comes with a preset feature that allows the user to create and input custom cocktails.
Expect more and more of these kinds of apps to present themselves in the coming years. After all, at this point in history people are tethered to their mobile devices. If they can be used to promote responsibility and safety, rather than merely sling-shorting Finnish birds at pigs, then all the better.