Could Your Smartphone Act as a Breathalyzer?

Could Your Smartphone Act as a Breathalyzer?

Your smartphone is pretty smart, but just how intelligent is it? Most people have a smartphone these days, with only the most stringent of holdouts opting for a flip phone. While many of us would be hesitant to say that we allow our smartphones to make decisions for us, that day may not be far off. Researchers in Israel believe they have found a way for smartphones to tell their owners if they are too drunk to drive.

Virtual Breathalyzer

It’s not unusual for people to express concern about the accuracy of breath-testing machines. Will a virtual breathalyzer be any different? Ben Nassi, of Ben-Gurion University of Negev, has been able to approximate the blood alcohol content in a person’s body with 93 percent accuracy. Nassi tested his idea using 30 different people, three different bars and four different devices.

Participants in the research were each given a Samsung Galaxy S4, Google Glass spectacles, a Microsoft Band and an LG G-watch. The devices measured the movements of the participants before and after they left the drinking establishment. Each participant walked in a straight line for 16 seconds. Nassi then used the data the devices provided via accelerometer and gyroscope, gravity sensors, linear acceleration sensors and compasses to gauge how intoxicated each person was. Nassi and his team of researchers took their data and their predictions and compared them to results from a police-issued breathalyzer. The team was accurate to 93 percent.

After analyzing the data, Nassi and his team determined that they only needed a smartphone and smartwatch to predict how intoxicated a person is.

Applications of the Research

According to Nassi, an app could very well help you determine whether or not you are too drunk to drive. The app would take into account local BAC laws, gather data automatically and then provide a warning to drinkers. Though the information provided may not be a sound legal defense, it could help someone make up their mind that they cannot drive home safely.

Whether or not the information will be used in the future to develop an app is not known. For now, people are encouraged to use their best judgment when determining whether or not they are too drunk to get behind the wheel. A good rule of thumb: One drink is too many and should have people looking for alternative transportation. No breath alcohol testing device is completely accurate or reliable, and the results of these devices (especially one so new) should always be taken with a grain of salt.

If you are arrested for drunk driving in Atlanta, you need an experienced attorney from Hawkins Spizman Kilgo on your side. We will review the details of your arrest and charges at no cost to you and advise you of the options you have. Call our experienced team today for more information or assistance in defending your case.

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