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Measurements of blood-alcohol content by a new smartphone app show that users drank the most on the weekend of the longest day of the year.
Measurements of blood-alcohol content by a new smartphone app show that users drank the most on the weekend of the longest day of the year.

Breathalyzer app records highest reading on summer solstice Add to ...

The first data from breathalyzer selfies – measurements of blood-alcohol content by a new smartphone app – show that users drank the most on the weekend of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

San Francisco-based breathalyzer manufacturer BACtrack reported on Wednesday that the highest average blood-alcohol content (BAC) from April, 2013, to April, 2014, was registered on Saturday, June 22, at 0.115 per cent. The typical legal definition for drunk driving in many jurisdictions is 0.08 per cent.

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The data shed light on drinking patterns, which can guide highway patrols and others determining when to focus drunk-driving enforcement.

But the primary purpose of the $149.99 (U.S.) BACtrack Mobile, which consists of a breathalyzer that sends readings via Bluetooth to a smartphone and was introduced in 2013, is to raise people’s awareness of how drinking affects their BAC and therefore causes impairment, said BACtrack founder and chief executive officer Keith Nothacker.

BACtrack Mobile data confirmed that one of the most booze-fuelled holidays was New Year’s Eve (an average of 0.095), followed by Super Bowl Sunday (0.087) and Valentine’s Day (0.081). The average BAC on Mother’s Day (0.069) exceeded that on St. Patrick’s (0.057).

The mobile app is intended to let users check their blood-alcohol content before getting behind the wheel, but 15 per cent of the 100,000-plus tests were on friends and others. That seemed wise: Tests on friends found an average BAC of 0.085, while selfies averaged 0.066.

Not surprisingly, the highest average BACs were recorded after Saturday-night drinking, when they peaked (0.113) at 4 a.m. on Sunday.

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