While many states consider mobile technology a bane to safe driving, Georgia officials have taken a decidedly different approach. This week Georgia state officials rolled out a new smartphone app called “Drive Safer Georgia” to help drunk drivers find alternate rides home in the event you have had too much to drink.

Defensive driving is all about being responsible. In Georgia, as in most states, the penalties for getting behind the wheel after drinking are severe. You could face thousands of dollars in fines, jail time and a multitude of points added to your license. If you get behind the wheel after drinking anyway, and kill someone, no defensive driving course in the world can fix that.

Georgia officials are hoping that by creating and distributing the free mobile app they will encourage drivers to find a way home other than driving after their New Years celebrations. the new app provides a list of sober and safe alternatives for drunk drivers, right in their area. Of course the effectiveness of the app will be dictated by its use, and it’s hard to know how many drunk people will have the thoughtfulness of checking their app rather than just driving home. Instead it is hoped they will know where they will be drinking in advance and use the app to find a way home before they absolutely need it.

This is a great use of mobile technology to fight a problem that has become all too common, despite best efforts at getting it under control. After the holiday Georgia officials will have a better idea of its effectiveness, and it is possible their success will inspire similar programs in other states.

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