New Smartphone App Launched to Help Catch Drunk DriversTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. January 24, 2013
A new Android and iPhone app is being launched with the intent to nab drunk drivers in the act. The app allows users to record individuals who are driving erratically in front of them.
Users can then watch the video from a safe place, zoom in to see the license plate and provide this information to the police. The app also provides a method to email a picture or video of the car to an investigator.
The app is being launched by Frank Vahid, a computer science professor from the University of California. Vahid was motivated to create the app because more than 10,000 deaths are caused every year in the United States due to drunk driving.
Although there was a decrease in 2011 in the number of fatalities associated with drunk driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving is reporting that preliminary numbers may show an increase of drunk driving related fatalities in 2012.
Vahid began working on the concept five years ago and took more than a year to research drunk driving and related behaviors. He also used this time to talk with prosecutors, psychologists and law enforcement officers about ways that drunk driving monitoring could eliminate the problem. Vahid also received assistance from two students with the development of the app.
Although some apps are currently available that can give a person information about his blood-alcohol level or information that is assessed during a field sobriety test, Vahid’s app is the first known app of this nature that is designed to allow users to report drunk driving that they personally witness. More than 1,000 downloads have been made on the app.
To use the app, a person needs a dashboard or a windshield mount. The app automatically deletes the video after 30 minutes in order to free up storage space. Vahid is developing new features for the app, such as automatic license plate recognition. He is also asking users to provide feedback about how to improve the app.
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