Let’s face it: Alcohol is second-to-none in its capacity for making people act stupidly. From inappropriately accosting sleeping frat brothers to drunkenly kissing random police officers, the litany of inadvisable alcohol-inspired activities is practically endless.
But if you’re a booze-hound who owns a smartphone, then it’s your lucky day. Following is a list of apps to help you make better decisions when you’re blasted.
Blood Alcohol Level (BAL / BAC) Calculators
There’s a ton of BAL/BAC calculators on the app market right now. Most of them require you to input basic information like your height and weight, and the number of drinks you’ve consumed. It’s probably best to know that these apps can really only ballpark your current level of drunkenness. There are a ton of different factors (amount of sleep, how much you’ve eaten, whether your liver is healthy, etc.) that come into play for determining your blood-alcohol content. Here are a few of the best ones:
- DrinkTracker ($1.99, iOS): This app lets you keep track of your drinks via a built-in database of drinks. It gauges your alcohol intake versus your metabolic removal rate, and then it delivers an updated BAC level every minute.
- IntelliDrink: ($1.99, iOS; $0.99, Android): This app represents your drinking visually on a graph, and it projects when you’ll be sober again.
- Last Call: (Free, iOS) While this app allows you to track your bac, it also has additional functions for calling a taxi if you’re past your limit. It also will provide a localized list of DUI lawyers.
If you feel the aforementioned apps are too unreliable or chancy, you could always take things to the next level with one of the many smartphone breathalyzers that are on the market. In order to work, these apps generally require an external device that interfaces with your smartphone. While these breathalyzers can be really helpful if you’re throwing a party or going on the occasional bender, you might want to consider seeking help from 12 Keys Treatment if you find yourself having to use them too often. Below are three of your best options:
- Alcohoot ($99, iOS & Android): This device plugs into your phone’s audio jack and uses platinum-grade fuel sensors and an air pressure sensor to determine your BAC. It presumably does it as accurately as law enforcement instruments do. It also connects users with taxis and late-night eateries.
- Breathometer ($49, iOS & Android): Plugging into your audio jack, this device works similarly to Alcohoot and boasts a similar range of functions. It’s FDA-registered and the company claims its accuracy is on par with “other high-end breathalyzers”
- BACTrack BT-M5 ($149.99, iOS): Possibly the most pricey option on this list, this device connects to your phone through bluetooth. It uses an Xtend fuel sensor technology, and the interface tells you when your BAC will return to zero.
Assuming you’ve used one of the two aforementioned apps and come to the conclusion that you’re too sauced to drive, then the next step (naturally) is to call a taxi. Depending on how drunk you are, though, this can be something of a tricky proposition. Arranging for a taxi to come pick you up usually involves knowing where you are and being able to properly dial a phone number. These are some of the better taxi apps:
- Taxi Magic (Free, iOS & Android): This app uses real-time booking, tracking, and alerts to find the nearest taxi and get them to your location with a quickness.
- NexTaxi (Free, iOS & Android): Not wholly dissimilar to Taxi Magic, this app works in more than 50 markets across the country. However, it also allows you to pay your fare through the app and promises not to send you any “indie” or off-duty drivers to ensure safety.
- myTaxi (Free; iOS, Android & BB10): This app also lets you pay for your taxi through the app and, assuming you’re using a BlackBerry smartphone, it’s practically the only game in town.
Drunk Dialing Prevention Apps
Possibly one of the most embarrassing and awkward things you can do is to call an ex-lover (or soon-to-be ex-lover) when you’re wasted. Even if you’re just calling an understanding friend or sympathetic relative, you might say things that you’ll regret. Following are a couple apps to keep you from making ill-advised phone calls:
- DrunkBlocker (Free, Android): This app has you set up a list of blocked contacts and replaces it with a bunch of different numbers. But if you really want to call the contact, DrunkBlocker requires you to pass a sobriety test.
- Designated Dialer ($0.99, iOS): This app has you designate a list of contacts that are blocked via the “lock my phone” function. A coordination test has to be successfully completed to open it up; otherwise calling the contact will send you to a recorded message reminding you that you shouldn’t call the person in question.
- Don’t Dial ($0.99, iOS): Using this app, you’ll block a set of contacts on your list, and they won’t be reachable for a full day. There’s also an option to let a friend enter a password to lock certain contacts as well.
Use any (or all) of these twelve apps, and you’re almost guaranteed to make better decisions when you’ve been boozing it up. Some of them could even save your life, in fact, if they prevent you from getting behind the wheel. Do you use any of these apps or any ones like them? If so, how have they helped you?