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Promising Study Shows New Ways Smart Tech Can Help Prevent Impaired Driving

August 21, 2020 (Arlington, VA) - Innovative research published August 18 by the University of Pittsburgh shows how smartphones could be used to help detect signs of intoxication and prevent dangerous behavior like impaired driving.

Brian Suffoletto, M.D., (now at Stanford University) led the research, which found that the sensors in smartphones can be used to detect high blood alcohol concentration. The researchers designed an app that measured participants’ walking speed and movements and was over 90 percent accurate in detecting when participants’ blood alcohol concentration would exceed the legal limits for impaired driving. CEO Chris Swonger congratulated Dr. Suffoletto, who is a past grant award winner for his research on text message-based interventions to fight binge drinking. Swonger welcomed the positive findings and the potential for technology to help alert people to alcohol-related impairment:

“The majority of Americans drink responsibly, and’s experience shows that technology can have a huge positive impact on educating Americans about the effects of alcohol impairment. 

We welcome this exciting research into new ways smart devices can help alert people to alcohol-related impairment and reduce risky behaviors, like impaired driving.” 

With a commitment to promoting alcohol responsibility, combating underage drinking, and preventing impaired driving,’s broad range of evidence-based initiatives help Americans understand how their bodies metabolize alcohol (BAC Calculator); educate parents, teachers, and students about the dangers of underage drinking (Ask, Listen, Learn); bring together criminal justice and road safety experts to identify reforms aimed at identifying and stopping the highest risk impaired drivers (Stop HRID); and more.

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About is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empower adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; and Pernod Ricard USA. For 29 years, has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit

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