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DUI…there’s an app for that

Posted by Craig Penrod | Feb 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) is one of those life altering events. Plus, a DUI conviction has the potential to cost a person a number of privileges.

A DUI conviction will involve large fines, which can be reported to credit bureaus should they go unpaid. More expensive car insurance rates are also a reality. There is also the risk of losing your current employment and a difficult time finding employment. After spending some time in jail for a DUI conviction a person may experience tension among their family and friends. This may happen if someone was injured during the DUI event.

In Tempe, Phoenix or other communities in Maricopa County, it is important that you consult experienced Arizona DUI lawyers like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.

Fortunately, due to the advancements of technology a smartphone may be able to help you avoid a DUI in advance of such an event. Although the best way to avoid DUI is to avoid drinking and driving, there are applications (apps) may assist a person in making the best decision when a person is impaired.

One popular DUI prevention app requires users to perform specific actions designed to test their reaction time and balance. Should the app determine that your reaction time is too slow and if you are unable to maintain balance, an alert will be sent indicating that a person is too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle.

In order to utilize these DUI prevention apps, a person is required to enter some personal information such as their weight, height and gender. A person will also be required to enter the number of drinks they have had, the type of alcoholic beverages they have consumed and the length of time they had them, as well the length of time since a person had their last drink.

The app will then instruct a person to place their phone inside their front pants pocket and to stand on one leg. The phone's sensors will then record all of the person's movements before speaking the results. A person will fail the test when they place their foot down more than once or if they fall down. Aside from the results, details of the test results are sometimes provided along with some hints on how you can get a better score.

  • DrinkTracker is available at slappme.com. This simulated breathalyzer bases its calculation of blood alcohol content on your age, gender, height, weight and real-time bar tab. It updates your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) every minute and touts a countdown for when you're safe to drive. It can also find nearby taxis. And Version 3 of the application has an auto-tweet feature so you can let friends know when you're drinking.
  • Alcohoot is available at getalcohoot.com. Law enforcement officers use the best sensors available in their breathalyzers. So, does this device as it plugs into your smartphone and tracks intoxication. It's also equipped to call cabs and find nearby restaurants for sobering up.
  • BACtrack is available at bactrack.com. This smartphone breathalyzer uses a fuel cell sensor and internal breath pump to ensure the best accuracy. It tracks BAC and puts it in context, graphs your drinking habits and calculates time necessary for you to be sober again. On the social side, it's also a photo-driven drink diary showing the last 100 test results made public in your region as a fancy drunk map.
  • BreathalEyes is an iPhone app available at breathaleyes.com that detects the eye's involuntary movement. This app is similar to the field sobriety test horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) that law enforcement officers use to detect twitching and jerking of a driver's eye as a sign of alcohol consumption, and BreathalEyes uses the iPhone's camera to record a driver's eye movement while the driver's head remains forward. The developers of this app suggest, however, that the individual conducting the test should be able to hold the phone steady during the test duration or should be sober. Good lighting conditions are also required.
  • Intoxicheck is an app available at intoxicheck.com that helps individuals determine how impaired they are in terms of their reaction time, memory, dexterity, and sense of judgement. The app is made up of six self-administered challenges that help drivers to estimate their level of intoxication. Intoxicheck first creates an unimpaired standard by allowing the user to perform the challenges while still sober. After having consumed alcohol, the individual must then perform the same challenges. The app compares the before and after results, assessing how impaired the user is. With Intoxicheck, it is not necessary to count the number of drinks one consumes and to guess the alcohol content of each drink.

It is important to choose the DUI apps that you are comfortable with and that can be easily used when you are intoxicated. While some apps will require a person to enter information about themselves and the drinks they have had, others will simply test a person's motion and balance. Some will even have a GPS locater, which can be useful when asking a taxi company to send a unit to pick them up for a trip home. These apps are available at major apps stores or they can also be downloaded for free.

While these DUI apps may be useful, they may not always be dependable. These apps are not designed to measure accurately as the amount of alcohol as an official measurement and it's important to note that they are by no means perfect. Many of these apps come with a legal disclaimer that makes it clear to users that these apps are primarily intended for entertainment purposes. These apps to intend to provide their users with useful tools that help ensure safe driving, thus, the best way to avoid a DUI arrest and conviction is to just simply avoid driving.

It is important that your DUI legal situation should be handled by expert professionals with the experience possessed by the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C. Our office offers free consultations for all DUI and criminal matters. Our Arizona DUI attorneys and Arizona criminal lawyers can provide you with the experience and knowledge needed for qualified representation. An experienced Arizona DUI lawyer is vital in DUI cases and our DUI attorneys set that standard. If you're in need of a criminal defense, our Arizona criminal attorneys are ready to assist you.

About the Author

Craig Penrod

Craig W. Penrod was born and raised in Arizona and has practiced criminal defense for over 30 years. Mr. Penrod is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, State of Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

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