Send to

Choose Destination
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2016 Aug 8;4(3):e98. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.5961.

The Quality and Accuracy of Mobile Apps to Prevent Driving After Drinking Alcohol.

Author information

Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Queensland (CARRS-Q), Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia.



Driving after the consumption of alcohol represents a significant problem globally. Individual prevention countermeasures such as personalized mobile app aimed at preventing such behavior are widespread, but there is little research on their accuracy and evidence base. There has been no known assessment investigating the quality of such apps.


This study aimed to determine the quality and accuracy of apps for drink driving prevention by conducting a review and evaluation of relevant mobile apps.


A systematic app search was conducted following PRISMA guidelines. App quality was assessed using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS). Apps providing blood alcohol calculators (hereafter "calculators") were reviewed against current alcohol advice for accuracy.


A total of 58 apps (30 iOS and 28 Android) met inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. Drink driving prevention apps had significantly lower engagement and overall quality scores than alcohol management apps. Most calculators provided conservative blood alcohol content (BAC) time until sober calculations. None of the apps had been evaluated to determine their efficacy in changing either drinking or driving behaviors.


This novel study demonstrates that most drink driving prevention apps are not engaging and lack accuracy. They could be improved by increasing engagement features, such as gamification. Further research should examine the context and motivations for using apps to prevent driving after drinking in at-risk populations. Development of drink driving prevention apps should incorporate evidence-based information and guidance, lacking in current apps.


Mobile Application Rating Scale; alcohol; blood alcohol content; calculator; drink driving; mobile apps

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for JMIR Publications Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center