Thursday , March 30 2023
Home / Ohio DUI News / Apple Developing iPhone Feature to Prevent Drunk Driving

Apple Developing iPhone Feature to Prevent Drunk Driving

Apple is considering an iPhone feature which would lock a user out of his or her car if the user’s breath alcohol levels are too high.  According to a recent patent application, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple has developed a program on the IPhone and Apple Watch for those devices to function as breath-testing instruments.

Testing Breath Alcohol Levels
An earlier patent application by Apple revealed plans for the iPhone and Apple Watch to access data related to human breath characteristics.  Those characteristics include typical breath ammonia levels and acceptable alcohol levels for operating a vehicle.  That data could be utilized, “so a user can compare infrared spectra obtained when the target object of interest is that user’s breath and/or the user’s mouth to human breath data from the database”.

The more recent patent application by Apple clarifies the iPhone may soon have a breath-testing component.  The patent application contains graphics which demonstrate the breath-testing function.  It appears the user will be prompted to blow into the phone or a phone attachment.  A phone app will then evaluate the breath sample and determine the breath alcohol concentration.  If the breath alcohol concentration exceeds the permissible threshold, the user will be locked out of the car, or the car will not start.

The iPhone app to be used for the breath-testing feature is Car Keys.  That app enables an iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock, lock, and start a vehicle using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

Testing Manual Dexterity and Mental Clarity
The Car Keys app may go further.  The patent application indicates the phone could also require users to complete challenges before the vehicle can be operated.  The challenges could include manual dexterity tests and mental clarity tests, such as solving a series of math problems.  Unsuccessful attempts at completing the challenges would result in the user being locked-out of the vehicle or the vehicle not starting.

About the Author:  Shawn Dominy is a leading DUI lawyer in Ohio and the founder of the Dominy Law Firm in Columbus, Ohio.  He can be reached through his law firm’s website:  Dominy Law Firm.

About Shawn Dominy

Shawn Dominy
Shawn Dominy is a DUI/OVI lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. He is the former President of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the state delegate to the National College for DUI Defense and a long-time member of the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers. Shawn Dominy authored the books 'Ohio DUI/OVI Guide', 'Ohio Vehicular Homicide Guide', and 'Ohio Vehicular Assault Guide' (Rivers Edge Publishing) and wrote a chapter in the book 'Defending Vehicular Homicide Cases' (Aspatore Publishing, 2012). He has several other published articles, and he speaks regularly at seminars teaching other lawyers about DUI/OVI. Shawn was named by SuperLawyers® as one of the top 50 lawyers in Columbus, Ohio, and he is listed as one of the 'Best Lawyers in America'® for DUI Defense. Shawn is a lifelong resident of central Ohio: he graduated from Olentangy High School and earned his bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from The Ohio State University. His office is in Columbus, and he lives in Powell with his wife and daughter. He serves with local community organizations, volunteers regularly at his church, and plays regularly with his German Shepherd. For more information, Shawn’s website is, his blog is,

If you would like to contact the author, please visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *