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Are you sober? Check your cell phone

By Lauren Maxwell 7:43 PM December 31, 2013

Alcohol apps monitor drinking

ANCHORAGE - There seems to be an app for everything, including ones that claim to monitor how much you can safely drink. They’re available for iPhones and Androids, but just how accurate are they?

Anchorage police say it’s not a smart idea to let your smartphone decide if you are sober enough to drive. They don’t recommend getting behind the wheel after you’ve had any alcohol, and say the new apps can give drivers a false sense of security about being safe to drive.

Most of the apps ask for information such as your gender and weight. Users then enter every drink they consume and the app calculates the effects over time.

But police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro says there are too many individual factors that a smartphone app can’t take into account.

“It really all comes down to how your body metabolizes alcohol,” Castro said. “It’s completely different for everyone and there are so many factors that can play into that, like what you’ve eaten recently or even how much sleep you’ve had.”

Even accurate results might not stop someone from getting a DUI, Castro said. In Alaska the legal blood alcohol level is .08, but a driver with less in their system could still be in trouble.

“Let’s say you are at a .04, you can still be arrested and charged with a DUI in the state of Alaska,” Castro said. “If you are driving home impaired under any kind of influence, you can be held liable for the decision to get behind the wheel.”

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