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Otorize – A Modern Approach to the Age-Old Sobriety Test

Written by Alexandra Hicks

Israeli startup company, Otorize, has developed a new app that can quickly determine if someone is too intoxicated to drive and prevent them from putting themselves and those around them at risk.

The app was created to identify any type of cognitive impairment, be it from cannabis, alcohol, drugs, medication, or even lack of sleep and illness. Otorize is simple yet innovative and it’s the first scientifically proven app to reduce impaired driving through self-regulating. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require any type of physical test.

How it Works

You do a base test which finds your regular cognitive level, then, using a method of “test of the capacities”, it examines your mental processing functions after using a substance. The user is presented with two lines that flash on screen for only one second, one is shorter than the other. The next screen shows two lines of equal length and asks the user to click on “which one was shortest” or which one was longest” from the previous screen. A person under the influence is likely to fail.


A view of the Otorize sobriety test

But keep in mind that “under the influence” is a bit subjective. Some people can have a few drinks or smoke a joint and still not be cognitively impaired, whereas others can be unable to function after only a hit or two. “Marijuana affects the body in a different manner to the way alcohol does,” Isaac Hassan, COO of Otorize, mentions. “The elements of marijuana affect the fat content rather than the water in our body — which is the effect of alcohol, so that each person reacts in a different manner.”

Why This is Important

The cannabis market in most countries still has a long way to go in terms of regulatory issues. In Canada for example, consumption is illegal over certain limits – just like with alcohol. CEO and CTO of Otorize, Andres Kukawka, explained that Canadian police officers are using saliva tests (which are also infrequently used in the U.S.) to see if someone is under the influence. This is unfair and unreliable though because, while it does reveal that someone smoked within the last few hours, it does nothing to actually gauge their level of impairment.

Furthermore, using the saliva test on a large scale is impractical because of how expensive it is, about $25 per test, and police officers are only able to use it they are absolutely certain that someone has been smoking. Overall, it’s good in theory but in practice, it does very little to reveal if someone is capable of driving or not, which is the main purpose of these sobriety tests anyway.

The Future of Otorize

The goal of Otorize is to eventually sync the app with a user’s car and disable it when they don’t pass the test, like an ignition interlock device without needing a prior DWI conviction. For now, this app is only available on Android devices, but it will soon be available in the Apple App Store as well. To keep up with all the latest products, subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter, the top source for all cannabis-related news and information.

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.