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R-U-Buzzed Mobile Application

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By Shirle
Words 777
Pages 4
R-U-Buzzed Mobile Application
CIS/207
December 3, 2012

R-U-Buzzed Mobile Application
The mobile application discussed in this paper is “R-U-Buzzed”. It is a mobile application put out in 2010 by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT), in an effort to curb drunk driving. Downloading the app to a mobile device is free, but comes with a warning that the user must be a minimum of 17 years old. During the download, the app asks the user if they want the information to be based on the device’s current location. When the user chooses to use his or her current location, the app uses a global positioning subsystem to locate the person, no matter what state the person resides in. By knowing the location of the user, the app can base the results on the particular laws that apply to that state.
Once the app is downloaded to a mobile device, it is easy to use and self-explanatory. There are separate wheels, kind of like a slot machine. A user can adjust each wheel individually to set various criteria. The first wheel sets the weight of the person – the heavier the person the lower the starting blood alcohol content (BAC). The second wheel counts the number of hours the person has been drinking, in half hour increments. The final three wheels count the amount of alcohol the person has consumed – one wheel for beer (one 12 ounce can), one wheel for wine (5 ounces per drink), and the third wheel covers hard liquor (1.5 ounces per shot). Underneath the wheel array is an area to choose ‘male’ or ‘female’ – BAC levels vary based upon gender. As the user is entering the variables, the application updates the total BAC based upon the quantity of alcohol, the size of the person, and the gender.
There is a disclaimer on the bottom of this application that states:

“This BAC calculator is only an estimate and is not sufficiently accurate to be considered legal evidence. The calculations are averages. Individuals may vary in their personal alcohol tolerance. Food in the stomach, medications, health, and psychological conditions are influencing factors. Many establishments that serve alcohol serve portions larger than the standard drink size”
(CODOT, 2010, online). This disclaimer prevents a person from using the information obtained in the application from suing for wrongful ticketing or arrest.
Using this application is a personal choice, but one advantage for users is to see how they are affected by their consumption of alcohol. The person can think they are not drunk, but if he or she enters the information honestly, the application can show them the truth. The saying “Seeing is Believing” applies here – people tend to consider what they see and read on their own more seriously than what someone else tells them. Once the application tallies the variables, it shows the user his or her BAC and lets him or her know if he or she is sober enough to drive, slightly inebriated (buzzed), or too drunk to even consider getting behind the wheel. At the bottom of the app are two links – one connects to a taxi service website, and the second connects to http://planaheadcolorado.com. Unfortunately, for out-of-state users, even though the app displays levels and warnings based upon state laws where they live, the links only apply to sites in Colorado.
Because this application is designed for computing the users possible BAC, any future uses are rather limited. There are a few enhancements that are possibilities in future versions. With biometrics becoming popular for security on many devices, the app could link to the person’s car via wireless communications and instruct the car not to start because the driver is intoxicated. Another enhancement could be a direct link to the local police precinct if the person tries to drive while drunk. The app could supply the police with the driver’s name, the make and model of the car, and the license plate number. The application could also supply the police with the most likely route the driver will take to get home.
This application has significant potential to help curb drunk driving. Other states should follow the example set by the State of Colorado, and develop similar applications or find ways to link up with the CODOT application, so that the taxi service link will work in any state. The application is easy to download, simple to use, and easy to understand. As long as the user is honest with the data he or she enters, the application displays an easy-to-understand, at-a-glance result within seconds.…...

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