DrinkTracker iPhone appEnlarge Photo
'How Drunk Am I?' iPhone app
Taxi iPhone app
New Year's Eve is a special night: a night for wary suburbanites to make their annual schlep to the city center, and for otherwise upright teetotalers to knock back the bubbly like barflies. Here at TCC, we fall somewhere in the middle -- right between "grandpa at the ice cream social" and "Gary Busey" -- so to keep ourselves and those around us safe this celebratory eve, we've dug up some iPhone apps to help us know when to say when.
Most of the applications on iTunes keep track of what drinkers consume and give a rough idea of how hammered they ought to be. For example, How Drunk Am I? [iTunes link] works with a timer: start it, then enter the number of cocktails, beers, or shots you consume as you down 'em. The app will give an approximation of your blood-alcohol level and a guess as to when you'll hit the legal limit. iDrink [iTunes link] works similarly, but it takes into account your height and weight, which seems eminently sensible, since safeties and sprinters get sloshed at different speeds. But the best of this lot is probably DrinkTracker [iTunes link], which bills itself as a "breathalyzer simulator". Its estimate of blood-alcohol levels is just as blurry as the other two, but DrinkTracker has a handy "call a cab" feature, for when you and/or the app feel you've had one or 12 too many.
The R U Drunk app [iTunes link] takes the drink-tracking feature one step further: it not only keeps tabs on your beverages (no pun intended), but it also has some accelerometer-based games to help determine your level of sobriety. (Or maybe it just shows that you suck at iPhone games, which isn't nearly as shameful.)
But perhaps we're making too many assumptions about you and your boozy ways. Maybe you're on the wagon, or maybe you've got more working brain cells than most Joe Twelvepacks, and you know when you've had enough. That's great for you, but you still need to keep an eye on your pals, right? Of course, no one likes to be told that they can't handle their liquor, so you've got to break it to them gently -- and how better to do that than with a patently fake Breathalyzer [iTunes link]? Simply convince your buddy that the app is for real (not a problem if they're truly buzzed), get him or her to blow into the phone, and voila: a totally fake, over-the-limit reading pops out. If you're a good liar, you won't even have to pin your buddy down to get those car keys.
No matter how you feel about those other apps, one you should definitely download is the totally free Taxi [iTunes link]. It uses geolocation to find a nearby cab service, which will come in especially handy if you're a stranger in a strange town. And you know, given the pain and expense of parking, Taxi might just be your best bet for tonight -- or any night, for that matter. Just don't hurl in the backseat, because we're next in line at the cab stand.