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Drivers Turning to Apps to Check Impairment

Smartphones allow users to have a wealth of information right at their fingertips. People can go online to check the weather, or make a reservation at a busy restaurant. If in an unfamiliar city, the phones can be used to provide directions or help determine how close people might be to major landmarks.

For those who are out for a night on the town, the phones may have other uses as well. In addition to learning about the latest and greatest spots to spend some time, the phones may help individuals avoid DUI charges.

In Colorado, the Department of Transportation has an app that allows users to estimate their blood-alcohol content. The app, called "R U Buzzed?" asks users to input weight, the amount of drinks and the time over which the drinks were consumed.

The app asks users to specify if the alcoholic beverages were beer, wine or liquor. Once all of this information is entered, the user's blood-alcohol content will be estimated.

However, those using the app need to be aware of some of the issues that could arise. For example, drinks made using hard liquor may have more alcohol than the app uses when it calculates BACs. More alcohol can mean higher BAC readings, which could result in drivers being impaired.

Relying solely upon this and other apps to determine sobriety will not prevent a motorist from being arrested for DUI. If a police officer believes that someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the officer will arrest that person.

The consequences of a DUI conviction can last for a significant amount of time. It is important to understand the penalties that may be in place. Repeat offenses can lead to additional punishments, which can make things that much more difficult if arrested.

Source: Colorado Department of Transportation "Alcohol and Impaired Driving"

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