Amazing new mobile phone applications, or apps, are being developed everyday. Apps for the iPhone and other smart phones put everything from restaurant reviews and flight schedules to games and headline news at the tip of your fingers.
Several new applications are aimed at getting you home safely after a big night out on the town.
Stumble Home Safely
An app called Stumble Safely helps Washington, DC pub crawlers find the safest routes to stumble home from favorite hangouts. The app uses city data about liquor licenses, parks and Metro stations to put bars, clubs and subway stops on a map. It then pulls in information from daily crime reports to show assaults, robberies and homicides that occur in the area.
Tap into the web site to map out a party path that avoids recent criminal activity. Choose daytime, evening or nighttime information to fit your schedule. As a bonus, a Twitter feed posts tweets naming DC bars to help track down the hottest party action.
The iPhone DrinkTracker application helps track your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) when you're out cruising bars. First you input a profile of your gender, age, height and weight. Then you record what you drink throughout your party spree with one-tap drink lists.
By comparing your alcohol intake with your metabolic burn-off rate, DrinkTrackers automatically computes your BAC every 60 seconds. You can input a BAC cutoff level as part of your personal profile. A countdown timer shows how long before the target BAC is reached.
The iBreath Breathalyzer is a different sort of gadget that plugs into an iPhone or iPod to let you know how drunk or sober you are. Exhale for five seconds into the fold-out blow wand. Two seconds later it let's you know if you're over the legal blood alcohol limit to drive.
Fans of the device say it makes it cool to drink responsibly. As an added feature, the iBreath Breathalyzer doubles as an FM transmitter that relays iPod tunes to any FM tuner.
No Safety Guarantees
Be warned that these applications don't come with guarantees. Most come with disclaimers indicating that the app seller and developer aren't responsible for the performance of the app or the accuracy of its content. Critics say the accuracy of mobile phone apps doesn't compare to police breathalyzers that are calibrated on a regular basis.
Perhaps the best app for getting home safely after a big night out is Taximagic. This free mobile application lets you instantly hail a taxi to your location. Updated alerts let you know when a cab is on its way.
Questions for Your Attorney
- Can I fight a DUI charge by showing that my mobile breathalyzer said I was okay to drive?
- Can I sue someone if I'm injured because the crime info in my phone app isn't up to date?
- Can you draft a disclaimer to keep developers from getting sued by people who use their phone applications?