Beware of apps claiming to help avoid a DUI - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Beware of apps claiming to help avoid a DUI

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When you think of a drunk driving traffic stop, you may not think of turning to your smart phone for advice, but now it seems there's an app even for that.

A growing number of smart phone applications are targeting those who like to drink, but don't want to run the risk of getting busted driving under the influence.

Many of the names suggest the intent of the apps like the "Blood Alcohol Calculator" and the "Can I Drive Yet" app. There's even a new "Oh Crap App" that's designed to give drivers real time help during a drunk driving investigation.

Tampa criminal defense lawyer Jason Rogozinski isn't all that impressed with any of the new breed of DUI apps and warns consumers to beware.

"These people are getting an app anticipating that they're going to get pulled over for a DUI. That is a problem itself," Rogozinski said.

“It’s not going to work at the time you're pulled over. At that time the officer is going to have zero patience," he said.

The head of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office DUI squad agrees. Sargent Troy Morgan says the apps are no replacement for common sense.

"I think the most important thing for people to understand is you do not need this app if you're responsible, and you do not drink and drive, and you use a designated driver. It's that simple," Morgan said.

One other reality smart phone users may not consider is that many apps have recommendations that don't necessarily apply to every state. Take the "Oh Crap App", for example. It was designed by lawyers in Iowa for use by drivers there, but it's available to smart phone users everywhere.

"People need to pay attention to these apps because each state the laws change, and it's not accurate for every state," Morgan said.

One rule that does apply everywhere -- driving drunk is against the law.

"If you think that you're drinking to the point that you're going to be pulled over for DUI maybe you shouldn't be driving in the first place," Rogozinski said.

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