Determining Blood Alcohol Content: There Is No App for That

These days there is a phone app for just about everything. This includes some that supposedly determine if you have consumed too much alcohol to legally drive. A Connecticut woman was recently arrested for driving under the influence, despite her iPhone breathalyzer app showing she was safe to drive.

The woman was allegedly shocked that she was arrested for drunk driving. She reported to police that she had tested her blood alcohol content earlier using an iPhone app, and it showed she was under the .08 legal limit. The woman blew a .12 on the breathalyzer at police headquarters.

The police researched the app the woman referred to and found it was designed as a novelty, and did not actually test a person’s blood alcohol content. The idea behind the app was that users could program it to report a fake high blood alcohol reading to trick others into not driving. Since the woman did not program the app prior to using it, the app showed her blood alcohol level as 0.00.

According to Discovery News, another iPhone app called BreathalEyes claims to legitimately measure a person’s ability to drive. The app uses the iPhone’s camera to detect involuntary eye movements which may indicate that a person is intoxicated. Although tests showed the app is somewhat effective in determining blood alcohol content levels, it is intended for “entertainment purposes only.” It’s readings should not be relied on as a measure of a person’s ability to drive.

Source The Hour, “iPhone app fails alleged drunk driver,” Steve Kobak, May 29, 2012.

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