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App can tell if you're too drunk to drive

Friday - 5/18/2012, 3:15pm  ET

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The app can pick up a certain eye movement caused by drinking alcohol.
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Megan Cloherty, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - A new app for drivers tells them if they're too drunk to get behind the wheel. The app, called BreathalEyes, tracks eye movement to estimate the user's blood alcohol level.

Put to the test, the app seems to work. A Fort Myers, Fla., TV station tested BreathalEyes on a group of friends tailgating outside a ballpark. Jared Hitt, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday, was the first to try it out. The app returns his blood alcohol level at .03 but his friend Jillian Zwergel comes in at .08.

"I don't know if I would trust it 100 percent, but I would say .08 sounds kind of right for me right now," Zwergel admits.

The app can pick up a certain eye movement caused by drinking alcohol. The temporary condition is called Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

"It tries to discern eye waggle in your eyes from left to right as you're looking at the maximum deviation from side to side," says Robert Andrews, company co- founder.

The app is available for download exclusively on iTunes and costs .99 cents, but it creators say the price will go up to $1.99 once it is updated to increase accuracy. The Android version is not available for Android devices, but the company website says it will be offered for users to download this year.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)