Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

No better app for the weekend than ‘Sobrio’

(Candace C. Cusic/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

(Candace C. Cusic/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Imagine this: you drive to your friend’s house on a weekend night to hang out for a few hours and catch up. You don’t intend to drink that much because you know your limits, but it was a very stressful week and you want to let loose a bit. After a while you realize it’s getting late, or perhaps you are out of beer and decide a midnight pickup from a convenience store down the road sounds like a good idea.

You think you can handle the drive; after all you’re not that drunk. You’ll just drive slowly. You think you’re doing great until you get pulled over by a police cruiser. You are subjected to a sobriety test that you ultimately fail and are charged with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence.

You would not be alone in this scenario. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), over 1.2 million drivers were arrested in 2011 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, and an additional 29.1 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in 2012. That same year, 35 percent of all traffic related deaths were caused by drinking and driving.

This is where “Sobrio” comes into play.

Launched in 2012, “Sobrio” is a community-based app available for both iPhone and Android that matches sober student drivers with students who have been drinking and need a ride. With popular driving apps life “Lyft” and “Uber” still unavailable in the Amherst area, “Sobrio” is the perfect app to bridge the gap. It is currently available on seven college campuses, including the University of Massachusetts.

“Sobrio” began at the University of Connecticut by Tom Bachant and Nadav Ullman, along with Android developers Ben Bartholomew, Mike Magnoli and front-end web developer Dave Mittelman. Students at the time, they saw first hand an unfortunate pattern of students driving under the influence despite sober students offering rides.

According to the “Sobrio” website, the app decreased drinking and driving rates by 40 percent after its introduction on the UConn campus. Since then, UMass, the University of Rhode Island, Stony Brook University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Ohio University have joined “Sobrio” in deterring drunk driving.

“Sobrio” is a simple, user-friendly way to find sober drivers by entering your location, destination and number of passengers. The request is sent to every driver at your school and when your offer is accepted, you receive an alert. A credit or debit card can be used to pay a donation for the driver if he or she requests one.

Before one becomes an official “Sobrio” driver, candidates must go through a background check for information including proper car insurance, a valid license and no criminal activity. Both passengers and drivers can establish profiles with their name, profile picture and a list of past rides with reviews from past experiences. And if you don’t want to accept a ride from someone with a bad review, you’re allowed to decline.

So the next time you plan to go out drinking and you know you don’t want to walk all the way home (after all the weather is only going to get colder), then downloading “Sobrio” is the perfect choice. No more jotting down cab companies or hoping someone is sober enough to drive, and no more pinching pennies to afford a cab. Best of all, you can sleep safe knowing you and your friends won’t getting a DUI tonight, or worse.

 Emma Sandler can be reached at

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