New Smartphone Applications Can Determine Blood Alcohol Content

The use of technology and smart phones has been on the rise in recent years, and now developers have established applications that could help drunk drivers find alternative ways to get home safely.

According to Popular Science, the makers of a portable breath analysis device called Breathometer have teamed up with ride-sharing company Uber to help those who are intoxicated find a ride home without endangering anyone or getting arrested for driving under the influence.

Breathometer is one of several types of breath analysis hardware that connects to a smart phone. The devices work with an application on the phone to calculate a person’s blood alcohol content, which would be similar to what a police officer would use at a traffic stop.

Now, through the collaboration with Uber, when a person blows a blood alcohol content level greater than 0.04, the Breathometer application will prompt the person to use a certain feature called Get Home Safe. This allows the person to request an Uber driver, call a traditional cab or call a designated driver.

According to the article, since the companies have collaborated, in the past nine weeks 42 percent of users who registered a BAC of 0.04 or more visited the Get Home Safe feature. Of that 42 percent, more than half of those people chose an Uber driver as an option.

In Ohio, the legal BAC limit is 0.08. If a person is stopped by a police officer and registers a BAC over the legal limit, he or she automatically can be charged with a DUI. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, it could be considered a misdemeanor offense or a felony offense. For instance, if the driver has a history of DUI convictions, he or she could face a felony charge.

If a person in Ohio registers a BAC of 0.17 or more through a breath test or a 0.238 or more in a urine test, the charge could be considered a high test DUI. This is more serious than a low test DUI because the penalties are stricter.

Although these offenses should be taken seriously, drivers could face more serious offenses if he or she causes damage or injury to something or someone as a result of getting behind the wheel intoxicated. These charges can include OVI with property damage, vehicular assault and vehicular manslaughter.

These developments can be interesting, but drivers should not use these applications and their results when determining if he or she is capable of driving safely.  In these instances, the application may not be completely accurate as to the exact level of intoxication, but it can be a good indication the person is impaired.

A person should use his or her better judgment when consuming any amount of alcohol and avoid driving. Getting behind the wheel after consuming any amount of alcohol could lead to a variety of DUI-related charges.

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