back to article NHS hurls iPhone into booze abuse fray

The NHS has released an iPhone app that counts your units and lets you know when you're drunk, if the blurred vision and falling over isn't enough of a hint. iPhone users can get the NHS Drinks Tracker from iTunes for free, and the National Health Service also provides Windows and Mac versions for those drinking heavily at …


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  1. MattW

    I can be happy in my ignorance ...

    ... as they haven't made an Android version.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    what were they drinking?

    This app is fatally flawed - not only does it not allow trendy Notting Hill media types to record their cocktail intake, it also doesn't support all the traditional old man drinks such as beer - I couldn't get it record 10 bottles of 32% proof "Tactical Nuclear Penguin".

    You have to wonder what the peeps at NHS Choices were drinking in their "research" phase - quite clearly it wasn't enough.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it report back to Nanny?

    How long before some Home Office bright spark decides to send the data you record about your drinking to the police... (they've already decided privacy is dead).

    They could send the GPS location too perhaps, or the rozzers could simply demand that from the telephone logs. Match it to public locations, then go arrest people for drunk and disorderly as reported by their own iPhones.


    Even without that, I don't think it's wise to enter it, if there's a problem, the police can seize the iPhone, and use the recorded drinks as evidence of drunkeness to pad the case. Or use the presence of the app on your iPhone to suggest that you are a lush..

  4. Tom 101


    They really should try spending some if our money on treating people rather than developing silly phone applications!

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    Who knows the strength of the wine in your glass ?

    When did you last ask your mate about the strength of the booze that they have just given you ?

    Which of your mates would know the answer if you were to ask them ?

  6. MarkOne

    This could hurt sales of iPhone

    As surely you would have to be pissed out your mind to even buy one in the first place.. I mean who wants a phone the size of a housebrick, full of gimmicky nonsense?

    1. Andy ORourke

      "who wants a phone the size of a house brick"

      You do know that's the box, when you open it and take it out of the packaging it is quite a sleek little number that YOU can fill with gimmicky nonsense (should you want to)

  7. Peter Hawkins
    Thumb Up

    Probably counterproductive..

    Does it have the facility to post your "high score" for everyone to see??

  8. Nebulo


    When I was happily mis-spending my youth, the rule of thumb was, if you can't remember what you've had, you've had enough.

    I suppose this is going to make the modern equivalent, if you can't hit the keys of your mobile phone, you've had enough. You mean you /really/ need an app for that?

    (And what other icon could I use?)

  9. Bumhug
    Thumb Up

    Best app ever

    Probably not its intended use but works great as a drinking game. Lets you randomly select Strength, size and amount of drinks you need to down in order to progress to the next round

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Just me?

    I, for one, welcome my NHS sponsored booze-up scorecard.

    Wait, what? You mean it's not supposed to be a competition?

  11. idi


    If you are stopped by Mr Plod when you are behind the wheel a little worse for wear, you can fumble about for your iPhone, fire up the app with and claim "Itsh OK... The phone shaid I wash shober officher".

    Whooohooo valid court defence

  12. Paul Shirley

    could be a great game

    Does it let me upload my highscore?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      There is a droid app that does just that...

  13. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Down

    Oi! thats my tax!

    How much was wasted on a bloody app for the god damn fanboi fone????? tossers.

  14. Tim Schomer

    Does it...

    ...have a button to randomly send the results to everyone in your address book?

    Seriously though, it looks like the programmers are girly wine drinkers eho are only any good at algorithms and not databases, since it's just a really simple ratio comparisson programme. Now if they added all the major brands of drinks (Beers & Spirits mostly, the current setup is probably OK for wines) then it'd be more usefull (and interesting - was that carleburp or curling I just drank.....)

    The only other drawback is that it doesn't know when one of your 'mates' adds a little something extra to your glass.

  15. Craig 12

    Feature requests

    1) work via taking a photo... would be much easier to use

    2) I pick some variables (18-25, female, 10 units) and then it sends me locations via bluetooth

  16. richard 69

    i'm not eefen pished

    another excuse to get your iphone out in a trendy winebar....the nhs have got to be will just become a tool for comparing how much people can take.....

  17. Mike Gravgaard

    Too much time?

    Seriously where do the people whom make these applications get the time?

    I don't see the point in this plus if I've been drinking I don't want to be messing with my phone - I'd rather passed out.

    I think the goverment need to address the problem why people drink and them just saying it kills you sooner is silly - I'm not immortal and I'm going to die (so are you) so what's the point; by the time I'm 65-70 I won't have a pension anyway so dieing sooner rather than later might be the hidden benefit.


  18. Jim Coleman


    Does it tell iPhone owners when to go for a piss, based on the quantity of liquid they've consumed and average human bladder size? After all, they do like being told what to do and when to do it by some big nannying corporate entity, don't they.

    And maybe it could tell them when to fart as well, and when would be optimal to sing some psychedelic praises to the depths of a china bowl?

  19. NickR

    Accuracy may be affected whilst under the influence of alcohol

    Warning !

  20. NickR

    Don't worry V2 is in the pipeline the 64bit Rugby Club edition.

    Due to 32bit limitations there will be a special 64bit Rugby Club edition to allow accurate post (and sometimes pre) match tracking.

  21. Neur0mancer


    I have started using this and I am quite impressed. It says that I am on average 12 units over the safe level on the last rolling week. Oops. It's 12 units a day. Meh, what does it know?

  22. fifi


    Where's the option for..

    Strength: I don't know, it's homebrew.

    Size: The glass is around 1/2 a pint but I keep topping it up.

  23. peyton?

    Establishing a baseline could be fun

    As everyone is a bit different in their tolerance, I'm guessing you have to get sloppy a few times, to get it properly calibrated? :D

  24. The Original Ash


    "But officer, the law says 3 units and that's what the application said! What do you mean it depends on body mass... You saying i'm fat? I'M SUING FOR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS!"

  25. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    Bit of a dead market for it I reckon...

    Honestly, who'd use it?

    Spoil's the atmos, and besides after a few drinks, who's to say what you'll be counting?

  26. NightFox

    In The Next Version...

    ...can we also have a GPS-based price comparison so you can compare prices per unit and decide which pub to move on to when it's your round?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My app

    I work for the NHS and am busy writing another life-saving app for the iPhone. Without giving too much away it reminds people when to breathe.

    1. MarkOne

      Not gonna sell

      I don't think it will sell too well, as clearly iPhone owners are braindead iZombies and don't need to breathe...

  28. Gronda
    Thumb Up

    Government incompetence?

    There's an app for that.

  29. RichyS

    Feature Request

    Can the next version include a feature to stop me calling ex girlfriends and the like when I'm drunk?

    Beer icon, obv.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Drink Units are Useless

    "Guidelines on safe alcohol consumption limits that have shaped health policy in Britain for 20 years were “plucked out of the air” as an “intelligent guess”.

    The Times reveals ... that the recommended weekly drinking limits of 21 units of alcohol for men and 14 for women, first introduced in 1987 and still in use today, had no firm scientific basis whatsoever."

  31. Anonymous Coward

    and all this while i thought

    that iphone users were prissy mama's boys who were too smart and well behaved to drink alcohol.

  32. Richard 102

    Not entirely useful

    I would bet that many things which can immediately cancel inebriation -- a dog's cold nose, someone vomiting in your lap, a deer jumping into your headlight beams -- aren't accounted for.

    Not to mention an alleged cougar's husband returning a day early from a business trip. Not that I'd know anything about that ...

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Why is *worried* about how much we drink?

    They depress us by running the country into a recession, ruining the manufacturing economy, most IT staff are paid a fraction of their US counterparts, overly taxed, no raise this year, an expensive xmas, while they swan about with our tax money buying duck houses, the only consolation we have is to while away our cold nights (as we cannot afford fuel thanks to the overcharging gas and electricity suppliers) drinking taxed alcoholic beverages, as they have made smoking a joint a worse crime than murdering a family, only for them to patronise us based on some made-up scientific basis of units(after all, doesn't listen to it's scientists re: drugs policy or "climate change" anyway) telling us not to drink!

    How very well dare they.

  34. Jason Yau

    Has to be said


  35. Paul Uszak

    Drinking is just one of the options

    If we live in a (quasi)democracy isn't it my choice how to go? I've chosen to drink myself to death rather than die of bowel cancer on a hospital trolley, be shot by the police as a (we didn't really check)suspected terrorist or spend my last five years being beaten by some prevert council care home worker, but too daffy to realise it...

  36. NickR

    First Drink of the Day !

  37. ShaggyDoggy

    Huh ?

    There's an even simpler app than this.

    It's called nothing.

    If you can still type sensible stuff into the phone, you're not drunk yet.


  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought of this and discarded...

    Kudos to all the good comments above.

    I thought about this app about a year ago and threw the idea away because (1) it's rubbish (2) it's flawed and counterproductive (all my friends would use this as the basis for drinking games).

    As soon as I threw the idea away I should have realised that the public sector would implement it.

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