Officials: Never trust a smartphone to measure blood alcohol content

Officials: Never trust a smartphone to measure blood alcohol content
Published: Feb. 8, 2014 at 11:26 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2014 at 3:26 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - These days, it seems like there is a smartphone app for everything. But should the accuracy of every app be trusted?

According to local experts, the answer is definitely no. And more specifically, they say sobriety apps should never be trusted to measure blood alcohol content.

"My advice to anyone who has such an app installed on their cell phones would be to delete the app, and just drink responsibly," says Major Randy Robertson with Muscogee County Sheriff's Office.

It is one thing to play a game, calculate a budget, or scan a code, but according to Robertson, sobriety apps should not be trusted when deciding whether or not to drive after having a few drinks.

"There is no scientific proof that any of these blood alcohol content measuring apps actually work," Major Robertson says. "So they are putting a sense of false security in a lot of young people's minds that they can go out and drink. Then, once they have few drinks, they will measure their blood alcohol with a small phone app, and basically get a false result."

Major Robertson explained phone applications often test raw alcohol inside the mouth, and cannot bring detailed results.

"About 25 percent of alcohol deaths were tested positive for the use of drugs," Al Barber said. "Phone applications cannot even bring accurate results for the users when they test for alcohol, so how do you expect the device to bring detailed information on possible drug consumption? Instead of drinking then driving after depending on false results produced by these phone apps, it's important that people only drive when they are sober."

Law enforcement officers use tests like walking in a straight line, or using their breathalyzers that test deep lung air to get precise results on blood alcohol content.

"Scientifically proven method of alcohol is through the equipment used by law enforcement agencies," Major Robertson explained. "Physicians and nurses in hospitals can provide reliable results as well."

Being a responsible drinker is the key. People need to drink responsibly and get home by taking a cab or calling a friend instead of driving behind the wheels.

"Nobody knows our body better than us," Major Robertson explained. "Make sure to call a cab or a friend when you are buzzed, because it's going to save you from DUI."

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