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Melany Myers

Weekdays 10:00AM-12:00PM

Smartphones  do lots of things and they may be able to let us know when we’ve had too many cocktails.  According to a study in the “Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs”, smartphones may be able to detect when someone has had too much to drink. The study found that phones could determine if someone’s over the legal limit based on a person’s walk or gait.

Conducted by Brian Suffoletto, M.D., with Stanford University School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine, the study looked at 22 adults ages 21 to 43. The subjects consumed mixed drinks to bring their breath alcohol concentration to .20 percent. Their breath alcohol levels were checked each hour for seven hours.

During that time, a smartphone was placed on each participants back. Each hour they had to walk a straight line for 10 steps, turn and walk back. Turns out the phones were correct 90% of the time. The phones noticed changes in gait to identify participants with a BAC over the legal driving limit of .08 percent.

None of us actually carry phones on our lower backs, so the research doesn’t really translate to real life. That said, they are planning future research with people carrying their phones in their hands and pockets to try and get the same results.

I see the positives in this study but it does make me a little worried. I walk weird when sober! I have numerous back and knee issues, so I walk like a duck. LOL! My gait is so off that sometimes I’ll run into the wall or lean to one side, as if I’m drunk. Yup. I’d hate to get busted for being tipsy when I’m really sober and just walk weird! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

This may be a helpful feature though. If it can stop folks from driving while drunk, I’m for it. You can get more details on the study here.