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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Monday, April 1, 2013

States offer free anti-DUI/DWI apps



By Clark Howard


Some states have a solution to cut down on drinking and driving: Free apps that estimate your blood alcohol level and give you a red light or green light to drive.

There's been a shift around country where law enforcement is trying to prevent you in the first place from driving drunk instead of trying to catch you after you're already on the road. I like this; it's all about prevention being the cure.

Several states now offer apps you can download to a smartphone to help. Instead of being a breathalyzer, these apps take basic stats and tell you if you're OK to drive or not. The thing is, you have to be honest with how many drinks you've had and what kind when you're self-reporting.

Wisconsin is the latest state to do this with their Drive Sober app. This is kind of an about-face because there's been a longstanding tradition of drinking and driving in the Badger State.

Years ago, I was camp counselor in Wisconsin and I saw a lot of underage serving at bars. We would routinely pile in somebody's car, go off to a bar, and nobody was thinking about this stuff back then. Looking back, I'm sure I put myself in danger riding with smashed driver many times.

Why are these apps state specific? Because they use GPS to target in on where you are and then offer free or cheap alternatives to get you home if you're not OK to drive.