I’m commandeering this blog today in an effort to engage all social drinkers in a debate. How many of you really don’t drink and drive? I’m not talking about drunk driving…I’m quite sure very few do that anymore. I’m talking about having a glass of wine, or two, with your dinner and then driving home from the restaurant.
For the past week, I’ve been drawn into an interesting discussion about the merits of a new product Ladybug is bringing to the market. It’s called the SipSmart Network www.sipsmart.ca. The SipSmart Network brings together all of the technology developed to date by Ladybug (our breathalyzer smartphone app, breathalyzer kiosk and proprietary software) and creates a new kind of social network that allows social drinkers to figure out what their BAC is in real time using whatever technology they have at their disposal. For example, if you’re drinking with friends at home, you can use your smartphone breathalyzer app to calculate your BAC and access the Network to download electronic coupons for your favorite home delivery services. On the other hand, if you’re out at the bar drinking, you can walk over to one of our SipSmart Kiosks and pay $5 to use the breathalyzer three times over the course of the night. The Network will allow you to bar hop and will reward you for practicing “informed” drinking with discount coupons to your favourite restaurant or even cab fares. Our vision for the SipSmart Network lies in the creation of a world where social drinkers know what their BAC is and make better decisions about drinking and driving because of this knowledge.
The nature of the debate is this. There are those who contend that ANY amount of alcohol should dictate NO driving. To that end, they find the idea of the SipSmart Network challenging because they believe that the determination as to whether or not you’re “okay” to drive to be at odds with what people should be doing ie. never drinking and driving. I struggle with this because we have very defined laws around impairment and intoxication and against which people currently make their determinations. Furthermore, the 205 million social drinkers in North America who are making these determinations, do so on the strength of a guess. In light of this, we believe the SipSmart Network will go along way in making our communities a safer place.
I would love to hear from any of you who have thoughts either for or against the concept of informed consumption. Better yet, head on over to our IndieGoGo campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/SipSmart-Network?a=350233&i=emal and put your comments on our campaign website. Let the SipSmart debate continue….