The holiday season is upon us, which means that holiday parties will soon start to fill up your schedule. Unfortunately, this time of year is also notorious for high rates of drunk driving and alcohol-related auto accidents.
Because of this, law enforcement officials throughout Colorado will be on the lookout for drivers who may have had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel.
How much is too much?
Legally, the answer is the amount of alcohol that it takes to raise your blood alcohol content (BAC) to .08. For some people, that only takes a strong drink. Others may be able to get away with three drinks and a bit of time. A lot of factors play into blood alcohol content, and you may be affected differently depending on the food you have eaten, your weight, and more.
Trying to guess your BAC is a dangerous game to mess around with, because driving over the legal limit could cost you thousands of dollars – not to mention the possibility of getting into a serious accident.
If you have been arrested for DUI, be sure to reach out to a skilled Colorado defense lawyer to avoid a conviction. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, though.
One thing that can help is to use some of the phone apps available that can help you make smarter decisions that will enable you to avoid the costs and penalties of a Colorado DUI if you do find yourself in a situation where you have been drinking and need to get somewhere.
Consider downloading some of these apps this holiday season. The more informed you are about drunk driving and the penalties for DUI, the easier it will be to make a decision that keeps you out of trouble (and keeps you alive!).
After a few hours, you can sober up from a drink or two. Drink Control allows you to estimate how much your BAC has gone down after a certain amount of time. The app asks users to input factors like height, weight, and types of drinks in order to create an estimate of your BAC. The app also allows you to track how much alcohol you consume throughout the week or month and how much you spend on alcohol.
There are a handful of similar apps for tracking your BAC, including:
- iBAC Calculator
- Smart Alcohol Test
ENDUI is an app funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The app does more than estimate your BAC. Users can “drive” on the app with a simulation that allows you to understand how alcohol may affect your reflexes or ability to drive. This “game” makes it one of the most unique (and effective) DUI-related apps on the market.
Once you have played a few rounds of driving simulation, ENDUI offers other options, including:
- Reporting a drunk driver
- Finding a designated driver/nearby transportation
- Watch videos and learn DUI facts
The first option gives you instructions on what to tell a 911 operator once you have witnessed someone driving drunk. Road safety requires more than just determining whether you are safe to drive. If you see someone stumbling to their car or a vehicle swerving, speak up. It’s not about narcing, it’s about safety.
Most BAC calculators are just an estimate. If you want more accurate results, you will need to purchase an actual Breathalyzer.
BACtrack is a portable smartphone breathalyzer that you can purchase online. It comes with a companion app that displays your results. The BACtrack app also comes with the “Guess Your BAC” feature that allows you to estimate your BAC and connects with the Apple Health app to show your BAC over time.
Ride Sharing Apps
If your gut is telling you to get a ride home, listen to it. Do not get behind the wheel if you don’t feel confident in your ability to get home safely. There are so many apps and services that let you call rideshares and find transportation home. Uber and Lyft are the most popular, but other services may be available depending on your location.
SaferRide is another app that is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that gives you the options of getting a taxi, calling a friend, or figuring out just where you are in the first place.
A Note About Apps That “Stop” You from Driving Drunk
It is important to understand that these apps estimate your BAC. They are not guaranteed to measure your BAC with complete accuracy.
The difference between .07 and .08 is slim… and potentially costly. Apps cannot take every consideration into factor, so unless you have a Breathalyzer on hand, you should practice extra caution to avoid DUI charges.
These apps are also limited to alcohol consumption. There is very little information available that can help you predict the amount of THC in your blood. Do not rely on apps to stop you from driving while under the influence of marijuana or other drugs. When in doubt, call a rideshare.
About the Author:
Since 2005, Jeffrey L. Weeden has been practicing criminal defense law in Colorado and has helped countless clients protect their rights and freedoms as a respected, caring, hard-nosed criminal defense attorney. Over the course of his career, Mr. Weeden’s work has been recognized in numerous ways, including being named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers list by The National Trial Lawyers, earning a 10.0 “Suberb” Avvo rating, receiving Martindale-Hubbard’s highest peer review rating — AV Preeminent, and being asked to speak on several issues of interest to the legal community. Additionally, he is someone who cares deeply about his community and those in need, and is an active member of a number of professional legal organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and Law Firm Pro Bono Coordinators.