‘Oh crap’ app designed to help those pulled over for drunken driving

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There is a smartphone app that can help people suspected of driving drunk. It was created by an Iowa law firm — but some law enforcement officials are skeptical of the app’s intent.

If you see red and blue lights in your rear view mirror, perhaps the aptly named “Oh crap app” can help.

The app was designed to tell people what they can and cannot do when being pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving.

“One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that they know their rights,” Attorney Bob Rehkemper said. Rehkemper is one of the creators of the app.

He says it lists basic legal rights, has a blood alcohol calculator and an emergency “Oh crap” button for when a person is being stopped.

Hit it and get advice like “the less you say the better,” “be polite,” and “lawyer up.”

There’s more. When you hit the “Oh Crap” button, it’ll turn on your phone’s voice recorder and that will record any conversation you have with an officer and send the audio file to a secure server.

The audio is potentially valuable evidence if someone wants to fight a charge.

“That initial interaction is documented and is recorded so it’s not a matter of what somebody remembers, or he said, she said,” Rehkemper said.

The Linn County Sheriff has concerns about the app.

“It’s cute, if nothing else,” Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner said.

Gardner says during traffic stops, using the program could put approaching officers on edge — seeing as they might mistake a phone for a weapon.

Sheriff Gardner also worried the app could be used for the wrong reasons.

“If it stops you from being intoxicated and driving, I’m certainly in favor of it. If it tells you how to be intoxicated and drive, and get away with it, there may be some concern there,” Sheriff Gardner said.

Creators estimate the app has been downloaded 4,000 times in the year it has been out.

They say they don’t want users drinking and driving, but hope they’ll use the app to stay informed in difficult situations.

“People end up in positions and their rights become very important to them, to their family members, to their children. That’s the purpose of this app, to understand what they do, and what they don’t have to do,” Rehkemper said.


  • Mark

    “Gardner says during traffic stops, using the program could put approaching officers on edge — seeing as they might mistake a phone for a weapon.”
    If they are that scared or that stupid, they shouldn’t be police to start with.

  • B

    Trust me, if you are impaired you won’t be able to find the app on your phone. Everyone knows alcohol effects you’re vision first.

    • Hatter

      One of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read. You do realize drunk people use their phones, laptops, tablets, etc. every day all over the world and they easily find their apps. Now, the problem would be that no cop would ever let you use the thing, even if they have to shoot you.

  • Dana Michelle

    or you could just choose NOT to be an irresponsible piece of crp and NOT drive after youve been drinking. seems easier than worrying about some app and all the lawyer fees youll end up paying.

    oh and as an added bonus – you might not kill some innocent person

  • Kevin Jarrell

    This app is a great idea for ANY traffic stop. People need to know their rights and exercise those rights. Sure, drinking and driving is wrong and anyone who does it needs to be caught and punished, but why should the use of this app be limited to drunks who probably couldn’t figure out how to use it in the first place???

    I also think the audio recording feature is wonderful. The more things like this people are using, the more police will be held responsible for their actions. I’m not saying all police are unethical or bad, because there are still good cops out there, but there are also even more of them who think that badge puts them above the law.

    “It’s cute, if nothing else,” Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner said–Yes, go ahead and downplay it, Sherifff Gardner, but you know very well the last thing you want are informed citizens who know their rights during a traffic stop and technology that holds you responsible when you do wrong.

    • Joust

      Sure, drinking and driving is wrong and anyone who does it needs to be caught and punished, but”

      Yes, go ahead and downplay it, Kevin Jarrell, until someone gets away with drunk driving, goes out and does it again and maybe kills someone you love.


  • l337g33k

    Also a great idea until the cop decides to take your phone as evidence since it’s recording the entire interaction up until arrest… those drunk selfies and videos will play out great at the trial!

  • Hatter

    1337g33k, what constitutional right would a cop have to confiscate and thereafter search your phone because of a traffic stop? Oh, yeah, wait – constitutional rights don’t matter when it comes to DUI’s and/or “license checks”.

      • JT

        And they depend on your ignorance of the law in order to do this–if you don’t know your rights, they can operate with impunity. And all this does is advise you of what you can/can’t do, should/shouldn’t say and what that cop can/can’t do. So of course cops don’t like it–it evens the odds for civilians.

  • DC

    When you disagree with what the officer says at court, you do not necessarily want to go onto the stand to rebuke them. If asked how much you drank you may purjur yourself or due to your blood alcohol your ablilty to remember what happened may be questioned. This would simply allow the events that occured to be heard without you having to testify. If what the officer says happened is clearly not what happened then there goes a large portion of the case against you. Just don’t expect to fight a cop while saying I’m not resisting and get away with it using this.

  • Matthew Wentworthh

    If you don’t know the rules of the road, and are not responsible enough to follow them then you shouldn’t have a license in the first place. Especially if you need an app to help you out, you mine as well go running back to mommy and daddy.

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