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“Virtual Bar” App Provides Tool to Stay Safe During Alcohol Responsibility Month

As BAC calculator eclipses 20,000 downloads, new and improved version allows users to compare favorites like tacos, pizza, hamburgers, and Chinese food

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) today released an updated version of its Virtual Bar app and website, which allows users to explore different factors that affect their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The newest version of the Virtual Bar demonstrates how popular foods affect an individual’s BAC.

The update coincides with Alcohol Responsibility Month, which is observed each April.

“The Virtual Bar is a useful tool that shows how factors like height, weight, age and food consumption impact blood alcohol concentration,” said Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of Responsibility.org. “Our latest technology, backed by research, shows that eating before drinking alcohol is an essential component of being a responsible drinker. Our updated app helps users understand how different foods affect their BAC.”

In April of 2015, Responsibility.org released the Virtual Bar to educate people about the factors that impact their BAC. The app allows users to simply input their stats, and the Virtual Bar uses a complex algorithm to estimate the individual’s BAC. With the latest update, users can now compare how a double cheeseburger with fries will affect their BACs compared to a beef burrito with chips. The app also allows users to compare Chinese food items and pizza.

“Food can have a profound impact on an individual’s BAC,” said Dary Fiorentino, Ph.D. of DF Consulting and Alliant International University, creator of the Virtual Bar algorithm. “This new and advanced model is another way to help promote responsible drinking decisions, especially as people explore how foods they are likely to consume when out drinking effect alcohol absorption and thus their peak BAC level.”

The Virtual Bar helps users see how their night could go depending on the amount and type of food eaten and drinks consumed. For example:

  • If a 25-year-old female who weighs 120-lb. and stands 5’ 3” tall drank three standard mixed drinks over the course of an hour, her peak BAC would be .086. If she’d eaten two slices of pizza 30 minutes prior to drinking, her peak BAC would be .056. On the other hand, if she’d eaten orange chicken with a side of chow mein 30 minutes prior to drinking, her BAC would be .05.
  • If a 30-year-old male who weighs 190-lb. and stands 5’10” tall drank three standard mixed drinks over the course of an hour, his peak BAC would be .062. If he’d eaten a beef burrito with chips and salsa 30 minutes prior to drinking, his peak BAC would be .038. Comparatively, if he’d eaten orange chicken with chow mein and an eggroll before drinking, his peak BAC would be .034.

Responsibility.org maintains that the Virtual Bar is solely an estimation for education purposes and should not take the place of someone’s responsible decisions when it comes to drinking alcohol, or about whether it is safe to drive.

The Virtual Bar app is available on iTunes and Google Play for mobile devices and the Apple Watch. For more information, please visit www.responsibility.org/virtualbar.

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About the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit that leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Edrington; Mast-Jägermeister US; and Pernod Ricard USA. Recognizing 26 years of impact, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families and communities together to guide a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility and offering proven strategies to stop impaired driving. To learn more, please visit us at www.responsibility.org.

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Georgia Cassady, 202-355-1947

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