With St. Patrick’s Day celebrations occurring, many people will be drinking, and Wisconsin Department of Transportation has brought back an app that helps those people stay safe on the road.
The Zero in Wisconsin Drive Sober phone app can measure a person’s BAC after users enter details like body weight and how many drinks they have had, David Pabst, director of DOT Bureau of Transportation Safety, said. This tells people if they are too intoxicated to operate a vehicle and keeps them from driving drunk.
In 2015, three people died in Wisconsin while driving drunk on St. Patrick’s Day, Pabst said. The app was introduced in 2013 on the holiday to help people drive sober, he said, and has been in place ever since, but is most prominently used around holidays like this one.
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Around 68,000 people have downloaded it and it is available for free on mobile app stores and the Zero in Wisconsin website.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback for the app,” Pabst said.
People can also choose a designated driver beforehand through the app so they do not drive drunk, Pabst said. The app’s “Find a Ride” feature uses GPS to track nearby transportation options like taxis and buses that people can use instead of driving themselves.
Pabst said the app has games measuring vision and reaction times that assess what state the person is in. The app also shows promotional videos of what distracted driving can do to encourage people to stay off the roads while intoxicated.
Pabst said it is not safe to drive even if a person is “buzzed” because judgment is still impaired. He said the best option is to be safe rather than sorry by choosing not to drive.
“Make sure you have a safe ride home and you don’t drive yourself home,” Pabst said.