Your smartphone may tell you if you’re too drunk to drive – Times of India

Don’t drink and drive — a message that should be followed by one and all across the world. Yet, people are often guilty of having a drink too many and getting behind the wheel of the car due to a false sense of bravado, ignorance, negligence among other reasons. Researchers, however, may found an easier way to tell if a person is too drunk or not.

According to a report by CultofMac, researchers at University of Pittsburgh believe that the accelerometer — found in almost every smartphone — could help in determining whether the person carrying the device

is drunk or not.

“Alcohol, especially at levels greater than .08%, produces psychomotor changes, manifested primarily through impaired speech and gross- and fine-motor function,” the researchers wrote in their report. “One measure of psychomotor performance that is particularly sensitive to alcohol is gait, which requires coordination of multiple sensory and motor systems,” they added. The idea is to rely on technology that is found in iPhones and Android


The lab-based study revealed that smartphones can capture “unique gait features that are sensitive to alcohol intoxication, classifying alcohol intoxication within individuals with an accuracy of around 90%,” the researchers noted.

It’s still an experimental study as the researchers pointed out certain limitations of it as well. Called a “proof-of-concept” study, it was conducted in a laboratory and that too under set conditions. Another important thing the researchers noted was that they placed the smartphone on the lower back, which may not be where many users keep their devices. However, the researchers said they intend to Carr out tests on how the experiment works for smartphones when users keep it in their hands or pockets.

In Video:How your phone may warn you if you’re too drunk to drive