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'Textalyzer' is like a breathalyzer for your phone

The textalyzer // WSBT 22 photo

Most cities and states have laws against texting and driving, but we don't need to tell you many drivers will do it anyway.

There's a new piece of technology. It's like a breathalyzer -- which is used to identify drunk drivers -- but it is used to see if a motorist had been using their phone before a serious crash.

Some local police departments have some concerns. By using the textalyzer, police would have the opportunity to distinguish which crashes were caused by texting and driving.

It sounds like a useful device, but police officers wonder how much searching on a persons phone is too much without a warrant.

Plugging in the device can allow police to know the exact time you sent a text or a social media post.

Mishawaka police think it's a good idea when it comes to fighting deadly crashes.

But police are also concerned it could be a violation of privacy.

“We want to make sure our courts would uphold it if it was actually used in the line of duty," said Lt. Tim Williams with Mishawaka police. "As far as doing traffic stops or anything like that, we need to make sure it's all accepted. Make sure it's not a violation of any Fourth Amendment rights or rights of privacy. We need to make sure we have all our bases covered before we use a tool like that."

The textalyzer still has a long way to go before it is an acceptable device for law enforcement to use.

Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Tennessee are the only places that have seriously considered the textalyzer.

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