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Uber hopes to detect drunk passengers

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Uber is hoping to detect drunk passengers, with data collected from your phone.

The company has applied for a special patent, to use artificial intelligence to detect drunk drivers.

If the technology is approved, the company will detect if you're drunk based on signs including: how often you drop your phone, how slowly you're typing or even just how you're holding your phone.

Local uber drivers say they're always prepared to pick up drunk people, especially during the evening hours.

"I think alcohol just enhances their personality," says Dan Haglund, who has been driving for Uber for three years. "I'd be surprised if they weren't [drunk] after 10 o'clock on the weekend. I would say most people are."

Based on current policies, Hagland has no idea if the passenger he is picking up is drunk.

The new patent would allow him to receive a notification about their condition before the passenger gets in the car.

Hagland says the patent has its positives, but he worries that it could make getting a ride difficult for those on a night out.

"They might be turned down over and over and over," says Hagland. "Then they can make the wrong decision."

Most Uber passengers told WDAY they often use Uber after going to bars.

"It's really convenient if you don't have a ride from a trusted friend or DD," says Shane Lavecchia, who uses the ride service.

The company is still in the process of applying for the patent.