May

5

Smartphone Apps Look to Reduce DUI Arrests

By Topher

It seems like there is a smartphone app for everything these days, from silly video games to powerful GPS navigation systems. Now, several state governments are working to build apps that can help people stay safe on the roads and avoid being arrested for DUI title.

According to a story from GovTech.com, government agencies, with the help of average citizens who know how to create smartphone apps, are figuring out ways that they can use smartphone apps to cut down on drunk driving.

The Colorado Department of Transportation, for example, recently released an iPhone application called R-U-Buzzed. This app can estimate blood alcohol content by allowing the user to enter their weight and the number of drinks and alcohol type they’ve consumed. If users register as having had too much to drink and the app displays the message: “Don’t even think about it!”

Another app, created during the Apps for Democracy contest hosted by iStrategy Labs, is called Stumble Safely. This app is designed to help pedestrians walk home safely after a night out at the bars.

The app factors in crime rates, neighborhood information, bar locations, public transit options, and time of day to provide a safe path home for users.

The Office of Traffic Safety in California also announced a no-cost partnership with an app called Taxi Magic, which helps users to find a taxi cab. This app promotes finding a cab driver to drive you home instead of making a bad decision and getting a DUI or causing damage from behind the wheel.

“It gives those who need to get someplace when they’ve had too much to drink an easy way to do it,” said California OTS Spokesman Chris Cochran. “It’s one more tool in the anti-DUI tactics we have.”

He said that all a user had to do was get in the cab when it arrived, helping out anyone who can’t otherwise find a safe ride home.

Taxi Magic is a free application that was released in January of 2009. It became one of the top applications in the iTunes store. Customers with iPhones can summon a cab to their location with the press of a single button.

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