In the 21st century, computers, tablets, and smartphones are used to do just about everything. Few people manage to get through an entire day without relying on an electronic device for something important. Even so, did it ever occur to you that you could use your cell phone to help you avoid an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI)? Probably not. The best way, of course, to avoid a DUI arrest is to refrain from consuming any alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Because we don’t all follow that “best practices” advice, you might as well use some 21st century technology to help keep you safe and out of jail.
Tracking Drinks and Estimating BAC Level
How many times have you agreed to meet friends or business associates for “a quick beer” or “just one glass of wine,” only to find yourself way too intoxicated to drive home a few hours later? Whether you are celebrating a promotion, letting off steam after a bad day, or just watching the big game, it’s easy to lose track of how many drinks you have ordered. Fortunately, there are a number of apps that can help you keep track.
- Intellidrink – has profiles for both you and a friend so you can track drinks simultaneously. It also allows you to set an alarm to let you know when you have reached a specific BAC level.
- BeerTracker – lets you track your drinks and even comes with a “beer goggles” test.
- BAC Alcohol Calculator — has more than 50 predefined beverages for users to choose from, but also lets you customize the drink you enter including glass size and alcohol content for specialty drinks. A graph gives you your estimated BAC and time when you will reach zero.
- R-U-Buzzed? – estimates your BAC level based on the interaction of weight, gender, time you have spent drinking and alcohol consumed. It even has a “Need a Ride?” feature that connects you to ride services such as Uber and Lyft.
- Cheers! – along with tracking drinks, this app offers an alarm that allows you to control the amount of alcohol consumed for a specific period of time so you can remain (relatively) sober during that time or you can set the alarm for your “sober up” time to alert you when it’s time to stop drinking.
- AlcoDroid – track your drinks and the app will alert you when your BAC level falls below the legal limit (if you go over it) as well as when you reach zero.
- Alcohol Calculator – with this app you can provide your drinking duration to the alcohol calculator by tapping when you begin your drink and then tapping again once you’ve stopped to ensure the most accurate assessment of your BAC.
What about cell phone breath tests? Intended to be miniature versions of the breath test machine you will be required to blow into if you are arrested for DUI, these cell phone personal breath tests for cell phones have been around for several years; however, there is a considerable amount of controversy surrounding whether they work or not. Moreover, even if they do work as intended under controlled conditions, the likelihood of user error is great, meaning you are unlikely to get an accurate result if you use one. If you do want to give one a try, BACtrack appears to be one of the more reliable options.
You may also be able to use 21st century technology to avoid DUI checkpoints. Most people do not realize that DUI checkpoints must be announced ahead of time – it’s a complex legal requirement that isn’t important at the moment. What is important is that if you know you will be consuming alcohol, you can do some research ahead of time and plan a route home that will bypass any planned checkpoints. There are also a few apps that claim to provide DUI checkpoint information, such as Mr. Checkpoint; however, most do not get exceptional reviews. Often, the best way to learn about DUI checkpoints in real time is through the use of apps like Waze which claims to be the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Drivers are able to alert other drivers in real time about any traffic problems, including DUI checkpoints.
Getting a Ride Home
Finally, you can always use your cell phone to arrange for a ride home. Both the Uber and Lyft apps are extremely user-friendly and one or the other operates almost everyone in the U.S. at this point. The cost of an Uber or Lyft is thousands of dollars cheaper than the cost of a DUI conviction!
Contact a Nebraska DUI Attorney
If you were recently arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Nebraska, contact a Nebraska DUI attorney at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.