Smartphone App, BarZapp, Foils Would-Be Underage Drinkers

App BarZapp Could Stop Would-Be Underage Drinkers

BarZapp, a smartphone app, could make going out on a Friday night a little more difficult for those would-be underage drinkers, according to Mashable.

Underage drinking is something that many participate in. The thrill of taking that drink seems to make the illegal action appealing to those under the legal age.

BarZapp, A Helpful App For Bar/Restaurant Owners

BarZapp is an app that gives phones the power to read the two-dimensional bar code on the backs of IDs.

Discovery News reported that Nelson Ludlow, CEO of Intellicheck and inventor of the app said “it (the app) doesn’t need to access any state databases, as all the information is right on the card.”

“Reading the bar codes was part of the technical challenge. The codes are called “PDF 417,” and have been in use for some time.

They differ from QR codes and the typical bar codes in stores because they hold more data and the dots are smaller, making them harder to read. On top of that a smart phone will be reading them in low light most of the time.”

When scanned, the app will display the name and age of the person being checked, leaving out the address.

Discovery News stated “Ludlow said that decision was deliberate, because the app does store the name and age.”

“Address information wasn’t necessary and not showing solves some problems. ‘We didn’t want them sending junk mail.'”

The app storage is so that a bar or restaurant owner can show that they actually looked at someone’s ID and verified how old they were.

And what about fake IDs? Mashable stated since the app is reading the bar code, a fake license will either return nonsense or the wrong data.

A bar owner can also check if a person was banned previously, or set up a VIP list.

So what happens when a person doesn’t want to have their ID scanned? No matter, the BarZapp app can still help a bouncer by telling them if an ID is fake.

The app comes with a database of pictures that show what various licenses look like.

Underage Drinking In The US

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and alcohol use by persons under age 21 is a major publish health problem.

The report continued on to say that although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States.

It also stated that more than 90 percent of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks. On average, underage drinkers consume more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers.

What do you think of the smartphone app, BarZapp? Do you think it will help crack down on underage drinking?

[Image via Shutterstock/mikute]