There is a new cell phone app that caters to drivers who are stopped for DWI. It's called the Duey Dialer. Critics say it promotes drinking and driving. Police say it could lead to dangerous results.
Round Rock police recently created a video showing drivers the dos and don'ts of a traffic stop. Once pulled over, drivers are encouraged to remain still with their hands on the steering wheel as the officer approaches. The video says to try to avoid making any sudden movements.
A new cell phone app may encourage drivers to do the opposite specifically those pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving.
It's called the Duey Dialer. Creators call it audio "insurance."
When stopped, users tap a red button that says "contact my attorney now." It records audio until users once again tap the red button to stop. A text alert is then sent to a local attorney.
In Austin, that's the "DWI Dude" Jamie Balagia.
"Hopefully it will just be a recording of you receiving maybe a citation and a nice exchange with an officer and you're about your business, but if things go south it's great to have that information in your hand," said Balagia.
Balagia has long encouraged folks to record traffic stops on their cell phones. He likes that the Duey Dialer goes one step further by alerting him immediately.
"Be prepared ahead of time. If you drink or take med and drive, you need to be prepared," said Balagia.
Round Rock Police Sgt. Tom Sloan says being recorded doesn't concern him, but how users activate the app does.
"The officers are trained to understand hands are what cause them harm," said Sloan. "Traffic stops are inherently dangerous. That officer who is making the traffic stop does not know the intent of the person. Most likely he or she does not know that person or what they want to do to the officer. We don't know so we have to play it safe."
Sloan suggests first asking the officer for permission to record. He says be aware that some circumstances won't allow for drivers to hold their phones, such as during field sobriety tests.
Aside from the risk of alarming officers with in-car movements, there is the drinking and driving controversy.
Nate Leding spoke with FOX 7 about that via Skype.
"We don't condone drinking and driving. We want people to be. We don't want them to be reckless on the road. This is not going to work for somebody that is out of control This is designed for a couple who goes out to dinner, has a drink and on the way home, comes across a DWI check point or is pulled over. This is to protect their rights like I said it's insurance in the event they need it," said Leding.
Sgt. Sloan says he has a better idea.
"We encourage the public to not rely on the Duey Dialer phone app to beat a DWI charge. Have the forethought and the responsibility to not drink and drive in the first place and we encourage you to phone a safe ride instead," said Sloan.
The Duey Dialer is in every state but Alaska. It is available only on Android. On January 1st, the company will launch Traffic Dialer. That app will target any drivers pulled over for traffic infractions. It will be available on both Android and iphone.