Breathalyzer Phone App


It seems nowadays we use our phones for everything; calendaring, reading, playing music, checking email, taking photos, and even charging credit cards. Why not have an app that tells us when we’re too drunk to drive.  Guess what, there is.

It’s called iPega and it’s a breathalyzer that attaches to your iPhone or iPad. Like the credit card swiper, iPega is a separate accessory that must be attached to the iPhone or iPad. Once attached, the user exhales into a hole on the device that provides a blood alcohol content level within a few seconds. The developers of the device have created a more sanitary device by eliminating the use of the tube that people normally exhale into. If the user blows a BAC level of 0.02 to 0.05 percent, the device will display “Caution” on its 0.9 inch LCD screen and then beep. If the user blows a BAC level of 0.05 to 0.08 percent, the device will display “Danger.”

If that isn’t high tech enough for you, there is an iPhone app called BreathalEyes that records involuntary eye movements and provides an approximate blood alcohol content reading. The camera on the iPhone is used to scan the eye as it looks to side and the app records the user’s Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). The HGN is the point at which a subject’s pupil begins to bounce when looking to the side without moving one’s head. The more intoxicated the subject it, the smaller the angle at which the pupil begins to bounce.  This is commonly tested in the field when officers instruct DUI suspects follow a pen with their eyes. Once BreathalEyes records the angle at which the pupil begins bouncing, it provides an approximate blood alcohol content level.

There are other, less sophisticated DUI preventions apps such as IntelliDrink. While it may be less sophisticated as BreathalEyes, reviewers of iPhone apps consider it more accurate. IntelliDrink allows the users to input drinks that they have consumed and the app keeps track of the user’s level of intoxication. It even provides a graph that shows what the approximate blood alcohol content is when the drink is consumed, when the person’s intoxication peaks, and when the person should be sober.

It goes without saying that people shouldn’t rely on these apps or use them as an excuse to drink and drive, but it never hurts to have as many tools at your disposal to prevent driving under the influence.

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