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Indiana Prevention Resource Center (IPRC)

iPhone Apps Aim to Prevent Drunk Driving

With the widespread popularity and use of smart phones and devices such as the iPhone, organizations and groups are stepping on board to spread the message against drunk driving by creating applications to monitor blood alcohol content (BAC).

One such application is “R-U-Buzzed?,” created by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The simple application calculates BAC based on information provided by the user about their weight, sex, type and amount of alcohol consumed and number of hours spent drinking. The application then determines whether the user has a BAC over the legal limit of .08 percent, and will then display an anti drink-driving warning: “Don’t even think about it.”

While there have been no formal studies to show the effectiveness of such apps, informal polls have shown that those who use the apps are often surprised at how quickly they reach .08 percent BAC. Many users do follow the instructions given, and do use a designated driver or call a taxi instead of driving themselves.

If you choose to use an application like “R-U-Buzzed?” to warn you to stay out of the drivers’ seat if you have consumed too much alcohol, make sure that it has been created by a reputable source. There are many apps and some of them are meant to warn you that you are too buzzed or drunk to drive while others are more for entertainment purposes.

by Alyssa Jones, 2/19/2010