Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) March 27, 2014
How much alcohol can you drink before you exceed the legal limit, putting yourself and others in danger? This is the question answered by the interactive simulated drinking app “If I Drink…”, just released by Elements Behavioral Health in an effort to educate the public about the risks of excessive drinking and drinking and driving.
The “If I Drink…” app isn’t just another blood alcohol concentration (BAC) calculator. It provides a first-person virtual experience of riding a bike, driving a car or walking the line at different BAC levels, ranging from sober to extremely intoxicated. After plugging in a few simple facts – including the type of alcohol, how many drinks are consumed in a specified period of time, weight, gender, and location – the app calculates the resulting BAC level and plays a short video of someone driving, biking, or attempting the walk-and-turn field sobriety test at that BAC level. The app also describes the potential legal consequences based on current state law.
“Too often, people underestimate the impact alcohol has on their balance, speed, accuracy and reaction time behind the wheel,” said David Sack, MD, CEO of Elements Behavioral Health. “It is our hope that this app will help people understand, in a hands-on, visual way, how severely alcohol affects their ability to drive safely.”
The simulated drinking videos demonstrate the notable impact alcohol has on driving, not only in terms of swerving but also speed. Even before the car veers over the cones, users will notice a clear slowing down in an attempt to control the car.
Even a BAC as low as .02 is associated with loss of judgment and declines in ability to perform two tasks at the same time and track a moving target. By the time a person reaches .08, the legal limit in the U.S., they struggle to maintain an appropriate speed and process information accurately. They also display poor reaction time, balance and muscle coordination and impaired judgment and reasoning. A recent study found that even “buzzed drivers” who have BAC levels as low as .01 are more often found responsible for fatal car accidents than sober drivers.
Driving isn’t the only risk. As demonstrated by the simulations, people who ride a bike under the influence have difficulty balancing, recognizing danger and navigating in traffic and are more likely to ride recklessly. In some states, drunk bicyclists can be ticketed and fined for riding under the influence.
Given that alcohol is the most frequently abused addictive drug in the U.S., the simulated drinking app will have wide applicability. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that one in three people, on average, will be involved in a drunk driving accident in their lifetime. In 2010, one person died every 51 minutes in alcohol-related driving accidents.
“It’s socially acceptable to drink alcohol, and it’s legal for those ages 21 and up. So a lot of people don’t believe the danger is real unless they see it for themselves,” said Dr. Sack. “With this simulated drinking app, the effects of drinking are depicted in a way that is clearly visible and easy to understand, yet difficult to ignore.”
About Elements Behavioral Health
Elements Behavioral Health is a family of behavioral health care programs that includes Promises Treatment Centers, The Ranch, The Sexual Recovery Institute, The Recovery Place, Right Step, Lucida Treatment Center, Clarity Way and Journey Healing Centers. Elements offers comprehensive, innovative treatment for substance abuse, sexual addiction, trauma, eating disorders and other mental health disorders. We are committed to delivering clinically sophisticated treatment that promotes permanent lifestyle change, not only for the patient but for the entire family system. For more information about Elements Behavioral Health, visit http://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com.