New app pairs breathalyzer with smartphones - KCTV5 News

New app pairs breathalyzer with smartphones

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With Alcohoot, the mobile breathalyzer attaches to users' smartphone and syncs with an app. (File/FOX Carolina) With Alcohoot, the mobile breathalyzer attaches to users' smartphone and syncs with an app. (File/FOX Carolina)
WINGATE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

A new app that promises to save lives pairs a breathalyzer with your smartphone.

It's called "Alcohoot" and claims to be the first of its kind in the world. The creators said it's as accurate as breathalyzers used by law enforcement and discourages users from getting behind the wheel of a car.

Ben Biron said his app and mobile breathalyzer is easy to use, affordable at less than $100 and is the next big thing in the fight against drunk driving.

"We wanted to do something that had a social mission and not just generate money," Biron said.

Biron is a senior at Wingate University in North Carolina. Before that, he served in the Israeli Army where he said his time in the service exposed him to the effects of drunk driving, prompting him to create Alcohoot.

"Every time we came to the base, we saw the number of people that died from car accidents in the military - and the number was exponentially growing," Biron said.

He said he worked with a partner for months developing a compact, accurate device that is also user-friendly.

Alcohoot works by plugging the breathalyzer device into a smartphone's audio jack, then users open the app, are instructed to blow into the breathalyzer and within seconds, users' blood alcohol content (BAC) pops up.

But that's not all. The app also brings up restaurants where users can sit and eat, numbers for taxi companies and even users' contacts lists to call a friend for a ride.

The app lets users track how much they have been drinking using a chart.

FOX Carolina wanted to see how well Alcohoot works against officers' breathalyzers.

FOX Carolina photographer Dal Kalsi volunteered to help by drinking three 16 ounce beers. Then the Wingate Police Department tested his BAC using a certified law enforcement field breathalyzer.

His BAC registered at 0.03. Then he tested Alcohoot twice, which came within 0.002 of a percentage of the police's test.

The officer said despite Alcohoot's accuracy, he did not recommend using it to decide whether or not to drive after drinking. Biron agreed.

"My opinion is don't drink and drive at all," said Biron. "My opinion is buzz driving is drunk driving."

Alcohoot is not available yet but is accepting pre-order online for $75.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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