Officers to use new TRACE app

A new law enforcement app makes it easier for ABC agents when responding to alcohol-related emergencies involving California youth.

Posted: Mar 5, 2020 5:26 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A new app was released on Thursday to help Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) officers find information quicker to help with case investigations.

The TRACE app allows officers to use cell phones or tablets in the field to upload information in real-time that will help with investigations into DUI crashes, alcohol poisonings, or sexual assaults involving minors and alcohol.

The new app was developed by students at Sacramento State University in partnership with ABC.

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The talent these students brought to this effort increases more timely notifications and improves the opportunities for successful investigations," said ABC TRACE Supervising Agent in Charge Brandon Shotwell.

The app takes officers through a simple list of questions that can ask at the scene of an incident. The protocol was created in 2004 when a diverse group of law enforcement agencies, including ABC, stakeholder groups and individuals worked together to grapple with the problem of youth access to alcohol.

Lynne Goodwin, the parent of a college student from Exeter who was killed in a DUI-related head-on collision, was one of the people credited with inspiring the new technology. Goodwin was concerned the investigation involving her daughter's death did not include all parties responsible for the events leading up to the crash.

Goodwin said law enforcement did an excellent job investigating the crash, but she felt someone who either sold or gave the alcoholic beverages to the drunk driver should be held accountable as well.

The TRACE program is funding through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The grant will pay for in-depth ABC investigations of serious incidents including car crashes, but also alcohol overdoses, poisonings, and assault involving minors and alcohol consumption.

ABC is a department of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

The video embedded below includes scenes showing ABC agents looking through wrecked cars, depicting how they find evidence that can lead them to the source of the alcohol following alcohol-related incidents where minors are involved.

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