The Quality and Accuracy of Mobile Apps to Prevent Driving After Drinking Alcohol PMC

By: Flaka Ismaili    October 4, 2022

You may notice that when you use the BAC calculator, there is a chart that appears below your results. This chart will tell you what your current BAC is, what your peak BAC is , alcohol addiction & abuse and when your BAC will reach 0%. I calibrated an app with adjustable metabolic rate using breathalyzer readings and I metabolized at 15% faster than average as a heavy drinker.

  • People who drink regularly have a shorter elimination time than those who rarely drink.
  • Yes ive had my weekends where i’d drink like a 12 pack through the week drink a bit.
  • It’s not a place for judgement, nor is it a place to act remorseless.
  • Driving after the consumption of alcohol represents a significant problem globally.

They could be improved by increasing engagement features, such as gamification. Further research should examine the context and motivations for using apps to prevent driving after drinking in at-risk populations. Development of drink driving prevention apps should incorporate evidence-based information and guidance, lacking in current apps.

There is evidence that skills performance starts to deteriorate at levels well below a 0.05 BAC, especially in terms of divided attention and basic driving skills . Compared with drivers with no alcohol in their system, the risk of a drink driving crash rises for drivers with a BAC of 0.05 or greater . However, balancing the evidence, it would seem that having a conservative tool in which to measure potential risk could aid in decision making to avoid drink driving. This study aimed to determine the quality and accuracy of apps for drink driving prevention by conducting a review and evaluation of relevant mobile apps. Comparison of the MARS information subscale items overall mean scores and standrard deviations in parenthesis between alcohol management apps drink driving prevention apps . As calculator apps are often highly simplified, there were apps that were tested where the exact volume and percentage of alcohol could not be determined .

How to use BAC Calculator

Overall, nearly 20% of people who drink in this category have alcohol use disorder. Get to know what 5 ounces looks like by measuring it out at home. That way you can estimate how many standard drinks you’re being served in a restaurant or bar that uses large glasses and generous serving sizes.

Quality measures as detailed in MARS subscales and total mean scores were calculated to examine individual app quality and to present a comparison of the quality of the 2 types of apps . For details of the mean app rating scores and subscale scores for all apps included in the analysis, see Multimedia Appendix 1. Drunk Calc uses a sophisticated algorithm to accurately estimate your blood alcohol level. No other BAC calculator has an algorithm quite as comprehensive as Drunk Calc’s. This research has demonstrated that there are numerous apps containing information for prevention of drinking and driving. Further research needs to be conducted to determine the contexts in which these apps are used, and the motivations for engaging with them.

The secondary aim was to highlight some of the best practices and potential issues in such apps as used for ecological momentary assessment and ongoing behavior change. Measures of interrater reliability were conducted using the intraclass correlation coefficient on all MARS subscales and total score. A 2-way mixed effects, average measures model with absolute agreement was utilized . Independent t tests were conducted to determine the differences between alcohol management apps and drink driving prevention apps, and effect sizes were calculated . Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition and legal counsel for any legal questions.

Drunk Calc will never tell you, explicitly or otherwise, that it is safe for you to drive. Drunk Calc will always encourage you to find an alternative way home, whether that be a taxi, an uber, or a long walk. Learn more about the dangers of driving while drunk, as well as why you shouldn’t drive even if you’ve only had a few drinks, on our FAQ page. Drunk Calc is the best way to accurately estimate your blood alcohol level online. Using its advanced algorithm, Drunk Calc can predict how drunk you are. I had a voluntary interlock after my official time was up so I wasn’t reporting to anyone but at the time I was still drinking occasionally.

Alcohol consumption has a number of short-term, as well as long-term effects. Short-term effects include dehydration and intoxication, while more long-term effects can include changes in the metabolism of the liver and brain. Alcohol consumption can also result in alcoholism, which is generally described as the use of alcohol that results in problems with mental or physical health. BThe rated versions of the apps may not be available in the App Store at the time of publication, as they may be replaced by newer versions. The presence of alcohol in your blood can only be confirmed using special tests. Our alcohol calculator is perfectly suited for use by drivers in 2019.

You are at high risk of an alcohol-induced coma, loss of consciousness, and even death. Behavioral changes including stupor, blunted sensations, and loss of comprehension are common. You may also experience severe mobility disturbances or loss of memory.


If you need to lose weight, looking at your drinking may be a good place to start. Depending on the recipe, you can have one, two, or more “standard” drinks in one cocktail or mixed drink. This is an information based sub where people navigating the legal system following a DUI/OUI/OWI converge to discuss, ask, and answer questions. It’s not a place for judgement, nor is it a place to act remorseless. Yes ive had my weekends where i’d drink like a 12 pack through the week drink a bit.

Is your “lite” beer light in alcohol?

Contrary to popular belief, nothing can lower BAC except time; coffee, cold showers, and chugging glasses of water will not help you sober up any faster. Use our calculator to estimate, but don’t forget that everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. how to hold an alcohol intervention for a loved one Our calculator can give you an approximate BAC level, but do not rely upon it to determine if you’re fit to drive or work. Again, these are only potential benefits, and consuming any amount of alcohol may not necessarily result in these benefits.


There may be a slight hangover, and symptoms can be alleviated by any pain reliever. That is why you should never drive when you’re hungover, even if the alcohol has been completely eliminated from your body. Before driving, make sure you are feeling well and reacting normally, and you can be concentrated. Remember, if you get into a car accident because you aren’t feeling well, you will be found guilty. This information is also essential to determine how much alcohol your body absorbs. The Virtual Bar will tell you how you might actually be feeling at different BAC levels to help you relate to and better understand the differences between BAC levels.

Drink Responsibly

It is also known that apps addressing alcohol use are rarely theory or evidence based . Most apps for drink driving prevention are not engaging, and none have as yet been tested in trials to determine their effectiveness in reducing drink driving behavior. While drink driving prevention apps are a promising countermeasure addressing risky road user behavior, they require an evidence base to ensure their quality and accuracy, and this currently does not exist. This novel study demonstrates that most drink driving prevention apps are not engaging and lack accuracy.


It is, therefore, necessary to utilize all available resources to increase drivers’ education and motivation to reduce drink driving behavior. Well-targeted mobile apps may offer an innovative, user-friendly, and accessible way of reducing drinking and driving. A total of 58 apps sober living house met inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. Drink driving prevention apps had significantly lower engagement and overall quality scores than alcohol management apps. Most calculators provided conservative blood alcohol content time until sober calculations.

Low-risk drinking

People with a parent, grandparent, or other close relative with alcoholism have a higher risk for becoming dependent on alcohol. For many, it may be difficult to maintain low-risk drinking habits. Heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause brain damage and other serious problems in the baby. Because it is not yet known whether any amount of alcohol is safe for a developing baby, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not drink. The younger people are when they start to drink, the more likely they are to develop alcohol use disorder at some point in their lives. Drivers who are over the age of 21 , who have a BAC equal to or greater than 0.08%, can face penalties.

First, only apps applicable to the Australian context were described due to consistent legislation and detection practices and further research should be conducted to determine the quality of drink driving apps in other areas. For example, sobriety apps providing guidance on subjective assessments of impairment should be the focus of research in jurisdictions where utilizing these methods of detection. Thus, the generalizability of these results to other jurisdictions is unknown. A systematic app search was conducted following PRISMA guidelines.

However, there is also a distinct drinking culture, and drink driving behavior persists. Most licensed alcohol and drug users in the country admit to driving over the legal alcohol limit at some time, with over 40% reporting doing so at least twice in the last year . One-third of crashes involve alcohol as a contributing factor and as such, excessive alcohol use continues to be considered one of the main road safety concerns .

Tying in to our main goal, we believe that everyone should be able to easily, accurately, and freely estimate their blood alcohol content. That’s why Drunk Calc is, always has been, and always will be, free to use for everyone. If Drunk Calc can help prevent a single alcohol-related death by offering a free, accurate, easy-to-use BAC calculator, then we have done our job.

Also, even light to moderate drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers, and of course, driving while intoxicated can have many severe consequences. It also gives you a sense of how long it would take for your BAC to return to 0.00, which may be surprising. Every Country has its own legal alcohol limit for driving, and most set the limit somewhere between 0.05% and 0.08%. While we certainly believe that Drunk Calc is a fantastic BAC calculator, there’s always room for error. That is why we will never compare your estimated BAC to the legal alcohol limit for driving in your Country. If you have had even one alcoholic drink, our advice will always be to refrain from driving.

Mobile apps and MARS subscale and total quality scores for both app category types. People who drink regularly have a shorter elimination time than those who rarely drink. However, unfortunately, you can’t determine your exact elimination time without individual medical tests.

What you need to know to stay up-to-date on drinking in the US. Empowering adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Use this calculator to estimate just how little alcohol it takes to put you on the “wrong side of the law”. Chances are, your cup or beverage label won’t tell you the answer—but this calculator will.

Penalties for those under the age of 21 are stricter, but vary by state. For those under the age of 21, the legal limit ranges from 0.01% to 0.05%. For your own safety and for the safety of everyone else on the road, please don’t drink and drive. We recommend walking, using public transport, or getting an Uber instead. Drunk Calc receives constant improvements, and one of the ways we do this is by releasing new and exciting features all of the time. The latest and greatest feature added to Drunk Calc was the chart feature.