Officials weigh in on drinking apps

Officials weigh in on drinking apps

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Smart phone app stores have several apps available that say they can track your alcohol content. NewsChannel 12's Juliana Valencia took a closer look at the app, "Can I drive yet?" and talked to officials on whether or not using it is a good idea.

We brought the app to a local bartender, Amy Walsh, to see what she thought of the app.

"Right now, I'm just looking at it, because I just got into it and it has a lot of options. It's really personalized," Walsh said.

The user types in what they've consumed. It takes into account different options such as weight, gender, and type of drink.

Walsh says this could help people who may not realize the amount of alcohol in their drink.

"They might think that one drink is the same across the board. So, if they get something that is a high alcohol content they may not realize it. This might kind of open their eyes a little bit," Walsh said.

The app starts tracking from the time to you start drinking to when it believes you're able to drive.

The Highway Patrol says Labor Day will bring more traffic and more troopers on the roads. Trooper Lane said they will be checking for speeding and other violations including drunk driving. 

"When it comes to the apps I've seen a few  of them. It may be something fun to play with when you're out drinking but you certainly can't go off the accuracy of them," Trooper Lane said.

Trooper Lane says the best option is just to have a designated driver.

"As a trooper our main goals are to reduce collisions, and make the highway safer for motoring public by that we try to get drunk drivers off the road,' Trooper Lane said.

Walsh agrees she says you shouldn't rely on these apps as breathalyzers.

"The best option is to not drink and drive or call a cab," Walsh said.

There are other apps out there that say they're more accurate such as Breathometer. Breathometer is a portable device that attaches to your smart phone and estimates your blood alcohol content by a user blowing directly into it. The creator was backed by ABC's Shark Tank last season.

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Governor's Highway Safety Program – "Booze It and Loose It". The campaign ran from August 15 and ends Monday.

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