According to a news report from the Boston Metro, a local company has developed a smart phone app that can tell users if they are intoxicated based upon how they are walking while using the app. The makers of the app say that it is designed to alert users when they are too drunk to get behind the wheel of a car, so as to prevent a drunk driving accident or to prevent them from getting arrested for drunk driving.
The developer of the app has said that when people drink alcohol to the point when they become intoxicated, one of the first things that happens is a lessening of inhibitions. This is a scientific fact that has been known for a very long time. The reason this translates into a problem in terms of drunk driving is that when a person loses his or her inhibitions, the brain is less likely to tell them that driving drunk is a bad idea. It is also less likely for the person to realize they should probably stop drinking, because they are already intoxicated. While there certainly may be people who know they are too drunk to drive, but decide to do it anyway, there are also those who genuinely do not know they are too drunk to drive. However, as our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers can explain, just because someone does not think they are too drunk to safely drive a motor vehicle, does not mean that this is any type of defense to a car accident lawsuit.
The reason for this is because in the Commonwealth, we use an objective standard when determining negligence. This means the jury must decide if the defendant acted as a reasonable and prudent person would in the same or similar situation. It does not matter what the defendant was actually thinking, since that would be very difficult to prove. However, there are certain aspects of the law that use a subjective test to determine the actual state of mind of the defendant, but, fortunately, drunk driving accident negligence cases are not included in that short list of situations.
The app uses the smart phone’s capability to track our movement though GPS and gyroscopes to basically determine if person is walking like they are drunk and alerts that person. If they are too drunk to walk, they are certainly too drunk to drive. The phone starts by monitoring how a person walks when they are sober and then compares their gait to when it changes, such as from being under the influence of alcohol.
One thing that comes to mind as a potential concern when thinking about apps like this that are still under development and the many consumer-grade breath testing gadgets that are available is that they are not necessarily accurate. There is also the problem that someone could be too drunk to drive, but sober enough to pass the test. The fear is that it will make someone think they are safe to drive when they are not. While the app likely comes with many legal disclaimers, this may not be of any help to a drunk driving accident victim. However, anything that gets drunk people out of the driver’s seat is certainly a benefit.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
App measures how drunk you are based on how you walk, January 3, 2017, By Kristen Toussaint, Boston Metro
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Bruins Star Ray Bourque Arrested for Drunk Driving After Car Accident, July 5, 2016, Boston Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer Blog