November 22, 2016
Drunk driving incidents claim the lives of up to 25,000 Americans per year, according to statistics from the National Transportation Safety Administration. That should be reason enough to do all you can to prevent yourself and your friends and loved ones from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Even if no one is hurt, getting convicted of even one DUI offense can cost you your license, your insurance, and thousands of dollars in legal fees, fines and other expenses. In some industries, a single DUI offense can cost you your career, as well.
Fortunately, thanks to mobile phone and computer technology, we now have a number of useful and innovative tools to help you have a good time, while responsibly managing your alcohol intake. Here are some effective apps and other tools you can install on your smartphone or tablet, to help you avoid hurting yourself or anyone else by driving while under the influence.
Alcohol Intake Mobile Apps
Available for iOS devices, Intellidrink lets you track your alcohol intake and helps you estimate your blood alcohol content (BAC) based on your height, weight and sex. The app can tell you, based on your alcohol intake and when you stop drinking, roughly when your BAC can be expected to drop below 0.08, the legal limit in most jurisdictions.
Intellidrink has a dual input function, so you can track alcohol consumption for yourself and your drinking buddy. The cost is $2.99, available here.
Alcudroid Alcohol Tracker:
This program has a similar function to Intellidrink, but is designed to work on the Android platform. Named a Top Alcoholism App of 2015 by HealthLine.com, the Alcudroid lets you chart your drinking habits by the day, week or month. It also supports U.S., imperial and metric units and of course calculates an estimate of your blood alcohol content.
Additionally, the Alcudroid helps you track what you spend on alcohol over time as well. Available for Android here.
BACtrack makes a combination breathalyzer and smartphone app system that will give you a reasonably accurate BAC level you can read right off your cell phone. The BACtrack breathalyzer device connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and uses an Xtend® fuel cell sensor that has a proven track record of accuracy and consistency.
The BACtrack app can also help you project when your BAC can be expected to reach zero (if you stop drinking now).
The BACtrack Mobile Pro breathalyzer is compatible for iOS and Android devices, and sells for $99.99 from the manufacturer’s website.
Too drunk to drive also means too drunk to operate complicated apps. That’s why National Transportation Safety Administration developed the SaferRide. This easy-to-use, intuitive app features a simple, three-button interface that’s so simple, you can operate it even after a very big night. Click on the “Get Taxi” button and the app will provide a list of local cab companies that you can call with one click. Click on “Call friend” and it will automatically call the friend you designated when you set up the app. You don’t even have to stab at the numbers to dial someone.
It even has a “where am I?” button.
The SaferRide app is available for Windows
and iOS devices
, and is free.
Ride Programs and Transportation Services
Contact the Sober Ride Program. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a nationwide database of such programs. In some markets, towing services companies will also tow your car home for you for free, on specific holidays. You can find a state-by-state listing of Sober Ride programs here.
DrinkingAndDriving.Org maintains the National Directory of Designated Driver Services
, a state-by-state list of businesses or groups that will make sure you get home safely for free or at low cost.
Hail a cab. Or you can use a mobile-phone app such as Cabzilla
Consider a ride-sharing service. Availability varies, depending on the market, but popular options include:
We want you to have a good time. But more than that, we want you to get home safe to your family, along with everyone else on the road with you. We encourage you to download one or more of these apps to your phones, and to share this information with your friends and family.