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DUI defendant learns that iPhone can't be used as a breathalyzer

Smart phones are great tools that make our lives more convenient and entertaining. But it is no secret that smart phones can also inspire us to do some dumb things, especially when alcohol is involved.

Waukesha residents need to remember that an iPhone can do a lot, but it can't tell if you're too drunk to drive. Therefore, any app that promises to function as a breathalyzer and measure your blood-alcohol content is probably for novelty purposes and should not be trusted.

Unfortunately, a 23-year-old Connecticut woman recently learned this lesson the hard way. Last month, she was pulled over for allegedly driving in the wrong direction down a one-way street. She was subsequently arrested and charged with DUI.

In her own defense, the young woman told the police officer that she had tested herself with an iPhone app before getting behind the wheel. Therefore, she could not be intoxicated. But after allegedly failing a sobriety test, she was subjected to blood-alcohol tests that registered readings of 0.12 percent and higher.

Ironically, the iPhone app the woman used was a novelty meant to be a drunk-driving deterrent, according to a recent news article. When used "correctly," one person secretly presets the app to register a BAC that is over the legal limit.

Then, they tell a friend to blow into the phone, which doesn't actually measure anything. Rather, the fake BAC that displays is a trick to convince an intoxicated person to avoid driving.

Sadly, the defendant didn't know this. She hadn't entered any preset numbers into the app, so it showed a BAC of 0.00 percent when she took the "test." Of course, common sense should have told her that because she had been drinking, there was at least some alcohol in her system.

Nonetheless, the woman clearly made an attempt to be responsible about her decision to drive that night. Hopefully, this will be taken into consideration by prosecutors.

Source: Norwalk Patch, "iPhone App "Showed" Woman She's Sober; Gets Charged With DUI," Harold F. Cobin, May 29, 2012

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