It’s a Friday night, and you’re dying to unwind after a long week. After you share a few appetizers with your friends and toss back a couple of cold beers, do you get behind the wheel of your car or hand your keys over to a designated driver?
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 29 people in the U.S. die every day in an alcohol-related crash. Not only is it tragic to lose thousands of lives due to irresponsible drivers, but drunk driving is also an expensive and preventable problem.
Drunk-driving accidents cost over $40 billion a year, and if you’re pulled over by law enforcement after you’ve been drinking, the fines can be hefty, and you can face some setbacks personally and professionally.
Rather than risking your life or putting others at risk, why not use technology to help you avoid being involved in a drunk driving accident?
These apps for iOS and Android may help you think twice before you get behind the wheel of your car after having a few drinks. Keep in mind that they cannot replace the clarity of sober judgment.
Have A Plan App
If you’re planning a night of drinking, you should also have a backup plan just in case you indulge too much, or your designated driver doesn’t follow through with their commitment to staying sober.
The Have A Plan app allows you to put a list of contacts that you would ask for a ride, when you’re too intoxicated to drive. There’s also a “get a ride” feature that can use your location to help you find a nearby rideshare or taxi service.
Want to see how intoxicated you might be? You can use the impairment estimator or play some reflex testing games.
Is it your turn to be a Designated Driver (DD)? Being a DD is not as fun than tasting a flight of craft beer, especially when you get to sip a free soda at the bar. The DDVIP app can help you find bars, restaurants, and other places that “reward” you for being a DD. There are also features that can help you hail a ride if you ever need one.
There are lots of apps that can give you an estimate of what your BAC might be, but they aren’t necessarily accurate. The Breathometer app is a free app, but an external device that you breathe into (just like a Breathalyzer) is an extra cost to consider.
The device plugs into your audio jack or has wireless capabilities. The app will give you your BAC and can give you an estimate when you’ll be sober. While this app may be more accurate, it’s important to remember that it’s not foolproof.
Another app with an external device is Alcohoot.
If you’ve used fitness tracking apps, you might find the DrinkTracker app is relatively easy to use and helpful. You log in all of your stats, like age, gender, height, and weight, and when you enter in drinks (in real time), it will give you an estimate of your BAC.
There are other features that can help you find a ride and get home safely.
While all of these apps may help you to avoid being in a drunk-driving accident, the best thing to do is commit to driving sober.