When the police lights are flashing in front of you and you realize a DUI checkpoint is waiting for you, what’s your first reaction? Is it panic due to either breaking the law or being ignorant to the law? If so, an Iowa-based lawyer aims to change that feeling of dread with the Oh Crap! App.
The goal of Bob Rehkemper, co-creator of the Oh Crap!, was to educate those who have been stopped at a DUI checkpoint by the police and are unsure of their rights based on their specific current situation. On the home screen of the app there is a large, aptly labeled “Oh Crap!” button. When a driver is in a moment of need at a checkpoint, they simply open the app and tap that button. Following the tap, Oh Crap! will record the next 15 minutes of audio. The app’s goal is to capture any and all pieces of conversation that could aid in litigation against the checkpoint. The recording is evidence that would be indispensable to any law firm aiming to represent the driver.
In addition to producing and saving the recording, Oh Crap! has a number of other functions. Once the driver’s conversation with the officer has finished being recorded, the app has an option to send that data to many different attorneys in the area. In addition, the app offers basic legal advice but reserves the really valuable information for the actual lawyers being recommended. Legal advice isn’t all the app offers at a single tap; users can also find a taxi company or a bail bondsman.
Attorneys will find that Oh Crap! App can become a very valuable tool for advertising their practice. If the lawyers offer minimal free legal advice via the app, that will draw in more customers who need to find out more regarding their specific traffic stop situation.
In an effort to help both parties, attorneys could advertise the app and the team who created it in their offices. In exchange for these displays, the app could add a few banner ads of supportive firms to the home screen or informational screens. Although most users hate banner ads, they are always a solid choice for advertising and are proven traffic producers.
Oh Crap! uploads the recorded file to their servers where all relevant groups in the area can access the file and use it to aid the driver’s case. Therefore as long as an attorney is listed as specialized in dui checkpoint stops, more customers will be coming in. In addition to just having more business, the drivers are coming in with much more useful information than in the past. A recording of the audio from the first 15 minutes of the police encounter can be especially useful in defending a case, depending, of course, on what is contained in the audio. Each Oh Crap! user will have a detailed recording of every minute of their interaction with the police officers.
Oh Crap! is currently focused exclusively on DUI related traffic stops. Many law offices that do not practice DUI law are missing out on attracting new clients and spreading their name. Leaving out such a large portion of the law-practicing community is quite an oversight. The app should obviously be upgraded to include different functionality for different driving situations. Rehkemper stated that he had plans to develop different apps to fulfill this functionality; but one app could sufficiently do the job and be done with minimal tweaking.
Additionally, a ranking system could be implemented for the offered attorneys, taxi drivers and bondsmen. This would provide an advantage for both the customers and the best businesses in each category. Oh Crap! users would be able to filter their service choices by ranking and always be ensured that whomever they pick is one of the best in their field.
The businesses attempting to create more profit would strive to earn the top spot on the review list and therefore their services would improve. Healthy competition always creates strong growth in markets.
What does already have reviews and ratings is the app itself. Oh Crap! has a four-star rating on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. Most of the reviews are glowing recommendations, “Just downloaded and love this thing already. Full of so much useful information”, but scattered throughout are some negative reviews where people have encountered small glitches within the app.
It appears that the only real complaint of the current user base is that the app crashes occasionally on some devices but this can easily be remedied with a simple update from the app developers. Another user suggested fix is to add the ability to search outside of your immediate area for checkpoint laws including concealed carry permit statuses.
There are only a total of two-hundred reviews across both app stores; but bear in mind the app is still relatively new and the creators are still attempting to advertise their platform, create more functionality and design more apps. Time will tell how successful and helpful this app really turns out to be.