Summer is rolling in, and a great many of us will spend a good night out in the nice weather having a few drinks with good friends and family. Still, it's easy to overindulge, and that can have deadly consequences if you have to drive back home. Yearly, drunk driving takes a shockingly large toll, with nearly 10,000 lives lost in 2014. Anti-drunk driving advocacy can take many forms, including apps. From drink loggers to portable breathalyzers, check out these 10 apps that try to keep you from the wheel when you're too intoxicated to drive.
DrinkTracker (iOS) ($1.99) & AlcoDroid (Android) (Free)
DrinkTracker helps keep you aware by helping you log in your alcohol intake and estimating your BAC over time based on your profile of gender, age, height and weight. DrinkTracker then displays your estimated blood alcohol content in real time. Users can set a target BAC estimate, with the app displaying an estimate of when your blood alcohol drops to the target. The app also works with Maps to help provide directions or commuting instructions home, or to help you reach trusted contacts in case you need a ride home.
On the Android end, AlcoDroid is another feature-packed drinks logger, with personalized user profiles, drink logging and a BAC estimator. You can also set long term drinking goals and view your consumption habit and expenses over time. It's main weakness is that it doesn't have the same map or taxi/commuting function to help you home when impaired.
Both apps' main weakness is that they depend on the user to input drinks manually, which after a few drinks and in the middle of a good conversation, can be easy to forget. Also do note that the apps only provide an estimate, so it's always best to err on the safe side.
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ENDUI (Android, iOS) (Free)
Maryland's ENDUI app doesn't exactly sport the sharpest interface, but it does offer a wide range of features in its attempt to deter DUI incidents. The features include everything from a drink log and blood alcohol calculator, the ability to call for a cab or trusted contacts, as well as reflex games to show you just how badly impaired you can get. ENDUI's DUI facts and videos are sobering, and the app does offer an interesting feature: the ability to report drunk or erratic drivers from within the app.
Have A Plan (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) (Free)
As its name suggests, this app encourages you to always Have A Plan if you're out drinking. Users can input a list of names and numbers that they'd contact if they're too impaired to drive, and the app also includes a 'get a ride' feature for using GPS to locate and contact nearby taxi services. The app comes with an impairment estimator to give you a rough guide to your BAC given the number of drinks you've had, as well as reflex testing games, quick pieces on DWI facts and myths, and the ability to report a DWI situation in-app.
Being the designated driver can kind of suck. DDVIP is a California project that aims to take a bit of the sting out by offering those conscientious folks deals, discounts and other offers at participating establishments and bars across the state. Users can check out participating establishments through a list or map search and use or share the offers. And, on the off chance that you do take a break from being the party DD (or find yourself drinking anyway), DDVIP will help you get a ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb.
If you're too drunk to drive, you're too drunk to operate a complex app. That's the thought behind SaferRide, which tries to keep its interface simple enough that a drink-impaired user can operate it. The app comes with three buttons on its main screen, one listing nearby taxi services and easy call buttons, another for calling friends if you need help getting home, and a "Where Am I?" button that uses GPS to locate you on a map, complete with a nearby address, either to help you get your bearings, or to direct friends coming to pick you up. It doesn't come with a lot of finicky options or app integrations.
Breathometer (Android, iOS) (Free, requires external device)
Why rely on estimates when you can have your own convenient pocket breathalyzer test? At least that's the idea behind Breathometer, which works with an external device that connects to your phone via audio jack (opens in new tab) or wirelessly (opens in new tab) to function as a personal breathalyzer test. Breathometer tells you your current BAC, as well as a time estimate for when you're back to zero and sober. A "Get Home Safe" button lets you reach your trusted contacts, a taxi service or Uber car. "Stay Nearby" lets you locate nearby restaurants and establishments that are still open, or even nearby hotels, if you really need to crash.
Alcohoot is a mobile personal breathalyzer that combines an external device that plugs in to your audio jack and a free app. Billing itself as a "law enforcement grade smartphone breathalyzer," it takes BAC readings on the go. The app includes learning algorithms such as "Morning After" (an after-action to rank your experience and how you feel after a night drinking) and "Smart Line" which takes learned data and recommends a BAC level where you feel great while staying in control. In addition, Alcohoot can also help locate nearby restaurants if you need to wait out the buzz or hail a ride with app integration to Uber, Lyft and other taxi apps.
Uber (Android, iOS)
If you're too intoxicated to drive but you really need a ride out, you've got a variety of options, such as the popular on-demand car service Uber. It allows users to easily contact a driver that can take them to their desired destination. You don't even have to worry about having cash on hand, as Uber accepts a variety of payment options from PayPal, Google Wallet or your credit card.
Worried about getting yourself and your car home when you're too drunk to drive? What about an on-demand professional driver? StearClear is a booking app that can connect you with a professional driver who can drive you AND your car home. Users can arrange a pick up time and place, arrange for one-way or driver by the hour services, and get in touch with your driver through private messaging. In addition to on-demand drivers, it can also help you book a taxi or black car service.
Okay, so this last one isn't really an app, but it's a really useful resource regardless. The National Directory of Designated Driver Services (NDDDS) is a helpful resource hosted by the non-profit DrinkingAndDriving.Org that provides users with contact information to designated driver services nationwide, sorted by state and county, as well as helpful tips, advice, and suggestions for choosing the right DDS for you. It's a helpful tool that you can use when planning the night out or for planning out what service to call beforehand, rather than something you actually use on the night itself.