The NFL Players Association announced this week that it will soon provide players with an app to safely and discretely summon transportation, removing the need to get behind the wheel drunk.
Optimistic that the new technology will gain traction, the NFL players' union is hoping this alternative to drunken driving will reduce "DUI offenders in the league," reports Sports Illustrated.
Will an app be enough to cut down on DUI arrests and convictions in the league?
NFL Players Association Safe Ride App
The NFL's new app is being offered in more than half of the NFL's cities as part of a partnership with Uber, a tech firm responsible for a private car-service app, reports The New York Times.
With this Uber-powered app, players can call a private car to pick them up with a few taps on a smartphone. The service is already being used by other pro sports teams including the San Francisco Giants, reports Sports Illustrated.
App-based car services like Uber have weathered tough legal times in California as they tend to conflict with existing taxi regulations. But the Golden State's Public Utilities Commission eventually gave the company the green light.
Unfortunately for players in Houston and Miami, similar fights over taxi regulations means the new app -- and the $200 offered as a credit for using it -- is sidelined in those cities, reports The New York Times.
Other Apps Can Reduce DUIs
With millions in fines being paid to the NFL for drunken driving offenses -- not to mention the deaths caused by player DUIs -- the NFLPA has every reason to want their members to reduce their DUI risk level.
Even without the Players Association's new app, there are other programs which can help NFL players and their fans get home safe and avoid a DUI.
For example, DUI checkpoint apps are not only legal but may actually deter drunken driving by informing users of the location of DUI checkpoints. These apps may not be available for iPhones, however.
Players may even be able to gauge their sobriety by using a smartphone Breathalyzer -- a keychain-sized device that attaches to a smartphone and gives a blood alcohol reading through an included app.
Hopefully the NFLPA's new app (and others) will capture the attention of the phone-obsessed younger generation of players, making a ride home more convenient than a DUI.
- NFLPA agreement provides players with safe rides (USA Today)
- Ride-Sharing Apps Get Cease-and-Desist from California (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Can Uber, Task Rabbit Save Your Valentine's Day? (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Nationwide DUI Crackdown: 5 Sobering Facts (FindLaw's Blotter)