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New app could help lower drunk driving arrests

Recently, an alumnus of Montana State University won first place in a national entrepreneurship pitch competition, which was held in Boston, Massachusetts as a part of the Forbes Under 30 Summit. He won top prize in the competition with a mobile app he developed to help reduce the prevalence of drunken driving in our society. For winning first place, Alex Crosby received $15,000, which he plans to use to accelerate the progress of his fundraising for the mobile app. 

The HERO app

Crosby is the CEO and co-founder of the HERO app, which is intended to curb drunken driving by providing restaurants and bars with greater incentives to ensure customers arrive home safely. The HERO app provides users with transportation options, such as public transit, taxis, and third-party ride services like Uber and Lyft. The HERO app can also connect users to sober designated drivers from the user's friend network. The app displays the availability, location, and price of each option so that the user can choose the most convenient and inexpensive option.

Users who give or receive rides using the HERO app will be rewarded with points. These points can be redeemed at any participating businesses. The bars and restaurants that choose to promote the HERO app may be able to pay lower insurance premiums. Bars and restaurants are required to pay insurance premiums to serve alcohol.

Crosby came up with the idea for the mobile app in 2014. A friend of his had lost his military flight career after being involved in a drunken driving situation. Crosby created an app to break the communication barriers that often hinder the ability of people to make more responsible transportation decisions after a night of drinking.

An early version of the HERO app was successfully tested in Bozeman. However, Crosby notes that his team still needs more resources and extra funding to make the HERO app a true success. Crosby is networking with individuals to promote his app thanks to the help of the Blackstone LaunchPad at MSU.

Will this tech soon become available?

According to Crosby, 28 states have asked to work with the HERO app. Crosby predicts that the app will go live for the public in Austin, Texas by the end of this year. If this app proves to be a success, the number of drunk driving arrests, accidents, and deaths could go down significantly.

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