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'Oh Crap App' Helps Drinking Drivers When Pulled Over by Police

By Alexandra Ward   |   Monday, 31 Mar 2014 10:17 AM

An Iowa law firm is looking out for the everyman with the creation of its new "Oh Crap" app, a DUI-defense resource for drivers being pulled over by police.

"One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that they know their rights," Bob Rehkemper, an attorney at a West Des Moines law firm and co-creator of the app, told KCRG.com.

The smartphone app offers a variety of information to the user, including a list of a person's basic rights when being stopped and a blood-alcohol calculator. But, perhaps most notably, the app contains a recorder to prevent a "'he said she said' battle with law enforcement," according to the app's website.

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"Make sure your initial conversations and contact with [police] is recorded and preserved. Press the large red 'Oh Crap' button when confronted with law enforcement to automatically start the audio recording function," the website states. "If arrested, the app also provides the user with a convenient 'contact an attorney' function, which immediately . . . sends an email to the on-call attorney and also notifies the user's 'emergency contact' and bondsman of the arrest."

Rehkemper said the app is not meant to encourage people to break the law, but to stay educated.

"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," he told KCRG.com.

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner told KCRG.com that drivers should be careful when using the app during a stop so officers don't mistake a cell phone for a weapon.

"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," he said. "It's cute if nothing else."

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