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Smartphone app targets alleged underage drinkers in Michigan

The increasing number of underage drinkers may not be a surprise for Ann Arbor, Michigan, residents. Considering that most college students and teenagers are freely exposed to alcohol, underage drinking remains a problem. The expansion of technology also contributes to the issue because websites now offer to sell fake identification to underage people so that they can get into bars and pubs.

Because of this, a smartphone application was introduced into the market recently. BarZapp is a mobile app that can scan the barcode on a person's driver license. To identify if the ID is valid or not, the app can verify the encoded information in the card together with the card owner's name and date of birth, along with the card's expiration date. BarZapp can be used by pub owners and bartenders to prevent underage people from obtaining alcohol. That way, underage drinking can be prevented and the number of teens facing alleged alcohol-related charges and accidents in the country will decrease.

This new app was developed by Intellicheck Mobilisa. While the company stated the software is supposed to determine the validity of military IDs and drivers' licenses, BarZapp may not identify all fake IDs. Moreover, alcohol consumption by underage people may still occur simply because not all underage drinking is done at bars and public events.

Nevertheless, for minors and college students below 21, zero-tolerance laws are strictly enforced. These laws apply in all 50 states including Michigan, which means a glass of wine can lead to alcohol-related charges. Whether the criminal charge involves a driving under the influence charge or underage drinking, such allegations can impact a student loan application, employment and the person's professional future. Underage drinking, if proven, may cause an accused person to face severe penalties, fines and even the possibility of jail time.

While technology has its own way of helping people, a knowledgeable legal professional has the means to contest underage drinking allegations against a person accused of the same. The legal professional can present sound advice and may be able to get the charges to be reduced or dismissed.

Source: Huffington Post, "BarZapp will spot your fake ID," Tyler Kingkade, July 26, 2013