Phone apps are a modern day solution to any number of problems—what should you do if you get into a car accident, tracking finances or maintaining diet goals. While apps can be beneficial, they should not be the end all source to answer your questions, especially when criminal charges are at stake. A new phone application known as the “Oh Crap App” purports to help drivers when they are pulled over for drunk driving. While it may seem compelling to turn to your phone for answers, be wary of any advice coming from a generic application.
Remember that every situation is unique and the charges you face will vary depending on the circumstances of your arrest, including where the arrest took place, whether or not you had prior charges, and whether there were any aggravating circumstances, such as a car accident or a child in your vehicle. Our Birmingham drunk driving defense attorneys are dedicated to helping clients protect their rights in the event of a DUI arrest. We are also dedicated to keeping Alabama residents informed of legal developments and issues related to drinking and driving.
The new app, called the “Oh Crap App” allows individuals who are arrested and pulled over to check their app for advice and legal direction. The app was developed by a law firm in Iowa that claims to be “looking out for the everyman” when aiming to help alleged drunk drivers protect themselves in the event of a DUI. While having knowledge in advance can help you protect your rights, drivers should also be wary — the app is not going to get you through your case. Every situation is unique according to facts and circumstances as well as jurisdiction.
According to the app creators, the “Oh Crap App” is designed to education the public of their legal rights. There is even an emergency function designed to help individuals who have been pulled over or who are in the middle of being questioned by law enforcement. While some of the features are beneficial, some tips could get drivers into more trouble. The blood-alcohol calculator may be of assistance, but it is not going to be accurate. There are other features that help users to contact an attorney or notify a bail bondsman at the time of arrest. One helpful feature is the recorder that allows you to record a conversation with police, which could be beneficial when pursuing your defense.
But you probably won’t be able to navigate through the options at the time of the arrest. If you are booked, it is unlikely that you will be able to play with your cell phone in a holding cell. If you grab for your phone too quickly, officers may think you are grabbing for something else, such as a weapon. In the event of an arrest, knowing your rights is important, but you should not blindly trust an app as a one-sized-fits-all solution. In the event that you do get behind the wheel after drinking and driving, you should contact an experienced local attorney as soon as possible.
The benefit of the app may be simply that it curbs drinking and driving. Individuals may be able to use apps to limit their alcohol intake or even understand the potential risks of drinking and driving. But relying on them for legal advice is a bad idea.