Starting this summer, Apple and Android owners will be able to track their blood alcohol content level by simply exhaling into their phones.
Breathometer, Inc. recently launched the world’s first smartphone breathalyzer, the Breathometer. Apple and Android teamed up with Breathometer to produce an app that provides an easy way for drinkers to be conscious about how much they’re drinking and to make smarter alcohol consumption decisions.
The $20 Breathometer app comes with a small breathing device that plugs into the audio jack of a smartphone. Once breathed into, the blood alcohol concentration data from the breathing device is stored in the app where it displays the user's BAC in real-time.
Since its release, other brands like DrinkTracker and BreathalEyes have entered the market to compete with the Breathometer.
Meghan Fuller, a 21-year-old MU junior, said she wouldn't use the Breathometer app.
"I wouldn’t buy a $20 breathalyzer," Fuller said. "It might look funny and be a hassle to carry around.”
Freshman Kyle Holtzman said he doesn't think the app will help reduce drunk driving.
“If you’re consuming alcohol already and making poor decisions, you’re not going to make a smart decision to take a breath test,” Holtzman said.
The app’s main goal is to keep drinkers safe and prevent them from driving if their BAC is too high.
“If a drinker just saw a number (on the app) they might push it and say ‘Oh well, I can drive,’” Fuller said.
Fuller also said the app could have a potential of turning into a game of who has the highest BAC number, and the drinker with the lowest would have to drive.
In 2011, Columbia ranked sixth out of 41 Missouri cities and towns on the list of drinking-related car crashes.