Rejoice designated drivers who help out their drunk friends on wild night outs! It is your time to enjoy the night as much as the next guy now that the smartphones are here to save the night.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, your smartphone can tell you just when to stop drinking. Or at least, it can tell you whether you're drunk judging by the way you walk.
Testing process with some vodka
The study included 22 adults with an age range of 21 to 43. They were asked to drink vodka mixed with a beverage to produce a breath alcohol concentration of 0.002 percent in one hour.
Afterward, participants had a smartphone placed on their lower backs and walked a straight line in 20 steps in total, turning back after completing the first ten.
The tightly placed devices measured their speed and movements while they were walking.
As a result, the smartphones enabled researchers to detect changes in the way they walk when their alcohol concentration exceeded 0.0008 percent. Apparently, they wouldn't be able to drive without being issued a traffic ticket in the U.S.
Inspired by a real, heartbreaking story
The story behind the study and the sensor development is an unfortunate one. Although it can serve public health and the prevention of excessive use of alcohol, the final result owes its success to the "death of a friend."
Lead researcher Brian Suffoletto reportedly lost his close friend to a drinking and driving car crash in college. "And as an emergency physician, I have taken care of scores of adults with injuries related to acute alcohol intoxication. Because of this, I have dedicated the past 10 years to testing digital interventions to prevent deaths and injury related to excessive alcohol consumption," he adds.
Now that the first results are out, the ones that have no idea about their limits can benefit from their smartphones once the scientists are done with moving the research forward.