Nowadays, it seems like we have an app for everything: getting directions, keeping track of our calories, and even finding parking spaces on crowded city blocks. There are also apps that, for a minimal cost, can act as a breathalyzer and test the level of alcohol in your bloodstream. So, how does this technology work? And what are the options out there for iPhone and Android phone users? And more importantly, is it at all reliable?
First, the technology of a breathalyzer app varies between providers, but the first step almost always involves downloading said app to your smartphone. Some of these apps are free, and some will cost you. Some, like “Can I Drive Yet?” on Apple’s App Store, act as a calculator. The user inputs their age, sex, weight, height, and how much they’ve had to drink, and the app provides an estimate of their BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content. Others are components of a larger system that involves connecting an actual breathalyzer to your phone, physically or via Bluetooth, that will give you a reading on your screen. Some of the top-rated apps out there include BACtrack, Alcohoot, and Breathometer. These products range in price from $30 to $150, and they also range in size. Some, like The Original Breathometer or the BACtrack Go or Vio, can fit in your pocket or on a keychain. The Breathometer is wearable and doesn’t require a disposable mouthpiece. And almost all employ what is called Back To Zero technology, which predicts when you will be back at a 0% BAC, or at the very least, a safe level to drive.
Speaking of safety, the jury is still out on the effectiveness and accuracy of these apps and their external components. A Today Show experiment conducted back in August of last year showed a wide range of test results for these apps, some that doubled the participants’ BAC, and some that underrated the results of the breathalyzer by 66%, a dangerous dip for someone considering whether or not to get behind the wheel. The general consensus among law enforcement is that if you are questioning your level of sobriety, you don’t need an app to tell you not to drive. The one positive of these apps is that it does allow access to so much information through our smartphones. Specifically, through the apps of the three aforementioned top contenders (BACtrack, Alcohoot, and Breathometer), a person can find nearby restaurants, open hotels, and call a cab or Uber car to get them home safely.
For more information on DUII citations and how breathalyzer tests work please access our valuable resource on breathalyzer tests in Oregon here. If you have any questions as it relates to a DUII or breathalyzer test do not hesitate to reach out to me today. You can contact me at 1-503-477-5040. I will be more than happy to help you as a successful Portland DUI Lawyer.