Four U.S. Senators want apps that warn drivers of DUI checkpoints to be removed

Four U.S. Senators want apps that warn drivers of DUI checkpoints to be removed
4 U.S. Senators are asking Apple, Google and RIM to remove any apps from their online stores that warn drivers of checkpoints where police look to surprise those driving under the influence. The four Senators-all Democrats-are Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg and Tom Udall. They all got together to send letters to Apple, Google and RIM. All three run online stores where smartphone users can buy applications to download on their phone, and the Senators want the three to remove from their respective online stores any applications that allow drivers to know in advance where police DUI checkpoints will be located.

According to the letter, these apps are "harmful to public safety". The letter goes on to say that ,"Giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern. We hope that you will give our request to remove these applications from your store immediate consideration." So far, RIM has removed such apps from the BlackBerry App World.

The letter to Apple was directed to the company's Senior VP of iPhone software, Scott Forstall. It noted that one app contained a list of DUI checkpoint locations that was constantly updated in real time. Another app, with 10 million users, allowed users to communicate with each other about the most recent checkpoint locations.

There is a worry among law enforcement officials about the growing use of these apps. One police official made a valid point when he wondered why anyone would install the app on his/her phone unless he or her was planning on drinking and driving.

For Apple, Google and RIM, this is a good chance to overturn lawmakers negative feelings toward mobile handsets because of the growing number of accidents caused by those who drive and text/talk on their phone. Removing the apps as requested could generate a little good will in Washington for the three companies.

source: AppleInsider



1. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

Sad that Washington has nothing more to do than this. I'd think with all the wars going on they'd have something nicer to do. Also cellphone industry is far from out of favor in Washington, Verizon and AT&T line the pockets of many a congressman and woman. How about instead of telling people what they can and can't have on their phones, why don't you balance the dang budget. Also "One police official made a valid point when he wondered why anyone would install the app on his/her phone unless he or her was planning on drinking and driving." Maybe because they don't want to be annoyed by a DUI checkpoint? That's the dumbest line I've heard since why are people against warrantless wiretaps unless they have something to hide. Logic like that leads to freedoms being taken from us.

15. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

Dang bossmt_2, I wasn't even half way through your post that I gave you a thumbs up! And the last paragraph is exactly what I thought when I read the quote from one police official. I don't drink alcohol but I certainly wouldn't mind having this app if I can avoid a +/-30 min. delay going to wherever I'm going. Furthermore, is there any proof/data that people that are avoiding the checkpoints are drunk and hurting others on the alternate routes?

2. BammyH

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

The breakthrough of technology had gone a long way and as time goes by,we are being introduced in the real world.How do you deal with this?If you don't have much money however want to continue to satisfy your online news addiction, the move toward paywalls is disconcerting. If you miss the news, you miss out. Thankfully, you will find some tricks you are able to use to prevent digital news paywalls and continue to enjoy your daily information fix.

3. Rawrzellers

Posts: 224; Member since: Aug 22, 2010

This wrong to have an app like this... the devs have blood on their hand regardless if their app enabled drunk drivers to go around these check points. Send them to jail.

4. Socalvenom unregistered

do you think a drunk person who could barely function drunk while driving is gonna be well enough to use these apps let alone follow the directions on how to go around them cause I sure don't these apps are useful for people who wanna save your ass ahead of time just in case because now a days cops don't just check to see if your drunk or not. Shit here in LA I'v been pulled over and asked about my citizenship and how I drive my nice BMW while living in Compton and being a student. Personally if your drunk you shouldn't be driving but if you sober up enough and don't wanna run into bull shit then app it up.

5. biggles

Posts: 269; Member since: Oct 15, 2009

How about incorporating breathalyzer tech on cell phones so when you stumble out of the bar, you can know your risk level. Something simple like \"good 2 go\" or \"you\'re f*cked\" could pop up after blowing into your phone\'s mic. Maybe even adjust the image for the latter message so you don\'t have to strain trying to focus out of double vision. That\'s not a bad idea - I\'m going to add it to my app list along with the \"Alcohol poisioning/vomit\" app, the GPS/gyroscope-based \"Pick me up off the floor\" app, and my personal favorite, the augmented reality based \"Anti-beer-goggles\" app.

6. TKFox007

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

While I see their point, I don\'t agree with them. If someone is incapable of operating a vehicle, what makes them think that they\'re capable of operating a phone? If they\'re drunk, they\'re more than likely not going to be able to operate the phone or even understand what the phone is telling them. And more than likely, they\'ll be too drunk to even remember to use the app or they\'ll misread where the police are and probably end up getting caught right by them, I don\'t agree with them because this is showing that the government is trying to regulate the internet. Which is something that they should keep their hands off.

7. cnance

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

The argument I am to drunk to use my phone is bullshit. Everyone has been drunk dialed before or has done it. Everyone has been drunk text-ed before also. Here is a thought everyone take 3 to 4 shots of whatever and try using your phone..............most of you will be able to use it. Guess what you are consider drunk.

16. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Word... Ill never be too drunk to not be able to use my phone...but to be honest, thats the last thing that's on my mind when i'm drunk. I don't care about apps and sh*t; I want either: A) more to drink, or B) a girl to f*ck. I'll use my phone to call a cab...

17. Socalvenom unregistered

but can you drive drunk while looking at your phone for a different root to go around a checkpoint and not swerve while doing it I bet you $100 you can't.

18. cnance

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 16, 2010

i'll take your bet. how many drinks do you think it takes before you are classified drunk.

8. DJLegacy2k5

Posts: 212; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

The gov ius corrupt as hell, so who cares if the people come up with ways to stick it back to them. Drinking and driving is BAD and anyone that does it should burn in hell, but seriously the police only want the TICKETS and money it brings in to the states, they dont really give a fuck about the safety of people.

9. DJLegacy2k5

Posts: 212; Member since: Jan 28, 2011


10. XxVerbalxX unregistered

how about the fact i just want to get home and dont want to deal with a cop flashing a light in my face when im exhausted and playing DD? or how about i just left a "friends" place at 1am because there is a no sleep over rule and once again, i just want to go home. i use this app because the last thing i want is to be stopped and feel like a criminal when i havent had a drop to drink.

11. ATTCallCenter unregistered

I've drank a bottle to myself, 15+ shots, I sure as hell knew how to use my phone. Just because you are piss drunk and can't walk right, you can use your phone. It's all from memory, just cause your drunk doesn't mean you can't use your phone. As for the apps though, people need to stop giving a F about this frivalous crap. I would just slap them with the Freedom of Information Act, as White Goldman said, "The hippies got something right"

12. paulyyd

Posts: 340; Member since: Jan 08, 2011


13. DJLegacy2k5

Posts: 212; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

The "land of the free" is sure seeming to be locked down more and more by the government lately. But at least the Government is still FREE to fuck us however they want part of it is still free.

14. webknight unregistered

I'm just gonna come out and say it. This app is useful for those driving without insurance because it lapsed for a month and could not yet afford to renew it, those who have suspended drivers licenses but still need to get to and from their night shift jobs and those who have the audacity to travel with a weapon in theor vehicles for their own protection.

19. Froid unregistered

If I want to have a few beers every once and a while, that is my business. If I am pulled over for weaving in traffic or driving in an unsafe manner because I am drunk, then I should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The fact of the matter is a lot of citizens have a couple of beers after work or at a social event and drive home safely on any given night. Society has driven the limit down so low that if you have 2 beers in an hour you could be considered driving under the influence. The only way to catch these drivers who otherwise are driving safely is to use checkpoints, or pull them over for safety violations (ie having a light out). If I do not want an officer to make that decision for me than I wil use whatever information is available to me. These apps should not be any more illegal than a friend calling you on your cell warning you that there is a checkpoint down the road. AS mentioned earlier it is just another step in trying to infringe upon our rights.

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