For many Georgians, there is nothing inherently wrong with enjoying beer, wine or a cocktail. Still, if you have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08% before climbing behind the wheel, you may be vulnerable to criminal charges for driving under the influence of alcohol.
One problem with booze is it interferes with a person’s ability to gauge both alcohol consumption and impairment. That is, after a drink or two, you may not realize you have consumed too much alcohol to drive safely. According to a recent study, your smartphone may help solve this problem.
Alcohol affects gait
It is common knowledge that alcohol may affect the way a person walks. In fact, law enforcement agencies throughout Georgia often use gait changes to measure intoxication when administering field sobriety tests.
Put simply, if you stumble, swerve or otherwise walk irregularly, your BAC may be above the legal limit.
Smartphones measure movement
Modern smartphones have sensors that measure even small changes in movement. The purpose of these sensors is to provide users with a better experience. For example, when you rotate your phone, its screen may switch orientation from portrait to landscape, giving you a larger view.
If your smartphone is in your pocket, it may also pick up on changes in your gait. That is, if alcohol causes you to stumble or walk differently, your smartphone may notice the movement change.
The future is promising
While phone manufacturers and app developers have not yet used this fact to stop drunk driving, the news is promising. In the not-too-distant future, it is not hard to imagine smartphones sending you an alert when you may have consumed too much alcohol to operate a motor vehicle safely and legally.