Show Me My Buzz? There's an App for That

By Jason Gotlieb 08/23/11

An iffy drunk driving offering from Missouri joins the slew of alcohol and recovery apps now available.

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The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has developed a new cell phone app to gauge drinkers' road-worthiness: Show Me My Buzz. After telling it your (truthful) weight and gender, you enter the (truthful) number and type of drinks you put away as the night progresses. The app then attempts to calculate a rough idea of your blood alcohol content before telling you how drunk you are—and whether or not you should be behind the wheel. It's to be hoped that its answers err on the side of "No." Show Me My Buzz also has a feature allowing users to press a yellow icon that will automatically dial a taxi dispatcher in their area. MoDOT says the idea is to get people thinking about how alcohol affects them, and how the effects vary according to who you are. Of course, Show Me My Buzz is less than 100% foolproof—the surest way to avoid a DUI or worse is to abstain from alcohol consumption entirely before you drive. For those of us who don't drink anyway, there are numerous sober apps now on the market, including some recent offerings from the Hazelden Foundation. These include The Gifts of Imperfection, an app helping users to "let go of shame" and "embrace who you are," A Woman's Way Through the Twelve Steps with its "feminine perspective," and the no-doubt popular Codependent No More: "Stop worrying about others and start caring for yourself."

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Jason Gotlieb is a programmer, software developer, and writer living in New York. You can find him on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.