NHTSA-Funded ‘End DUI’ App Tells You If You’re Too Drunk To Drive But Is It A False Sense Of Security?

In an effort to curb drunken driving, the state of Maryland has released an app that helps people decide whether they are sober enough to drive. ENDUI (pronounced “End DUI”) is free for Android and iOS platforms and was launched this week at the annual Maryland Remembers memorial, which was attended by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) president Jan Withers.

ENDUI is an app for your smartphone that is designed to help you see when you should not drive The app warns users not to mistake it for a breathalyzer test. It isn't one.

The ENDUI app has several features, but it’s the Blood Alcohol Guide that has been getting all the attention. Set your gender and weight and you’re ready to start entering the drinks you’ve had recently. As you enter them, ENDUI estimates your blood alcohol content (BAC) and uses a color-coded timeline to give you a sense of when you’ll be nearing Maryland’s .08 BAC limit. The guide also displays messages warning you that even one drink will impair you and suggesting that you find a ride instead of driving. Once you hit the limit, ENDUI warns you not to drive.

The app also has games you can use to test your concentration and reaction time. In the reaction game, you drive down a street and tap the brake button when pedestrians appear on the street. The app tells you how fast pressed the button and warns you that drinking impairs your ability to react quickly – but it doesn’t tell you whether your reaction time suggests you are drunk.

The ENDUI app has information about drunk driving, as well as videos. endui f

The big question is: how well will this app work? It seems bound to help some people decide not to drink and drive, and that’s admirable. But what about the people who have a few drinks and use the app to determine that they are safe to drive?

Sure, the app is loaded with disclaimers, but they’re about as likely to be read as software license agreements. And, it’s easy to “forget” a drink or choose as small glass size when entering drinks in the guide.  We’re in the middle of holiday party season, so we’ll probably soon see whether the app gives some users a false sense of security.