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  • DUI Checkpoint Apps Asked To Sober Up



    Senator Charles Schumer has asked Google, Research In Motion, and Apple to remove application that alert users to the locations of nearby DUI checkpoints. Schumer along with Senators Harry Reid, Tome Udall, and Frank R. Lautenberg sent letters to Apple and Google in March asking them to remove apps like Mr. Dui, Trapster, and DUI Dodger from the app store.

    As Michael reported back in March , RIM is the only one to have removed the apps.

    As a recent college graduate I've seen my fair share of poor decisions, and as a result, have had a number of friends pay the price for driving under the influence. Some were drunker than others (three times the legal limit), but they all took the chance, but none were taken down by DUI checkpoints or had an APP on their phone they checked before leaving the bar to see if the coast was clear.

    Also, it is worth noting many police departments publicize the locations and dates of DUI checkpoints and speed traps.

    Still, the possibility of someone using an app to skirt the law and endanger the lives of others and themselves is a rather detestable. That being said, many of the apps named by the Senators do offer more than just tips on where nearby DUI checkpoint are. Many alert drivers to speed traps, red light traffic cameras and include services to prevent drunk driving. Buzzed offers a feature that helps users find taxi's and even lets users call the cab with a single tap.

    An excerpt from DUI Dodger's product description:

    Originally Posted by :
    Fight back with DUI Dodger, the app that allows you to view and submit DUI checkpoints in your area. The idea is that knowledge is power, and people will be less inclined to drink and drive if they know that there is a checkpoint in their area, that they are drunk, and that driving drunk carries major consequences.
    DUI Dodger includes a BAC calculator as well as a game that "aims to detect a person's sobriety level by simulating a police field sobriety test."

    Originally Posted by :
    DUI Dodger not only allows users to see and submit DUI checkpoints, estimates their BAC level, and tests their sobriety, it also provides a number of useful and interesting facts and myths about drunk driving. This information, coupled with knowledge about a person sobriety level, will hopefully lead to increased awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.
    With all the heat generated by Locationgate and the recent Senate hearings it will be interesting to see how Apple and Google respond. The always mysterious app approval process and moral center of both companies is being questioned. Apple definitely doesn't employ a "anything goes" mentality to app approval, but those usually deterred are pornographic, excessively violent, or viewed as direct competition to basic functions Apple already provides on the phone.

    As the judge, jury and executioner, especially in Apple's case, these companies can generally do as they please. It will be interesting to see if they let all the apps stay, stop them in their tracks, or pick and choose based on what services they actually provide.


    Source: PC World, DUI Dodger
    This article was originally published in forum thread: DUI Checkpoint Apps Asked To Sober Up started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 58 Comments
    1. dantheman1040's Avatar
      dantheman1040 -
      Hmmmm
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      If you're sober enough to open an app and plot an alternate route, you're probably sober enough to make it through a checkpoint.
    1. djrbx's Avatar
      djrbx -
      I personally think if a drunk person is actually smart enough to use this type of app, he/she will be more aware of their surroundings. Does it make it okay? No. Does it make it more safe for other drivers? No. But instead of a drunk driving without care and weaving in and out of traffic, at least that person will slow down and think twice if this app alerts him/her of a checkpoint.
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      I hope they don't do away with trapster!! I use it occasionally.
    1. SkyMuffin's Avatar
      SkyMuffin -
      DUI Dodger not only allows users to see and submit DUI checkpoints, estimates their BAC level, and tests their sobriety, it also provides a number of useful and interesting facts and myths about drunk driving. This information, coupled with knowledge about a person sobriety level, will hopefully lead to increased awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.
      I'll bet you twenty bucks that the majority of users don't even care about these other "features"...
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Apple's response: "We’re in the process of looking into it — we have a policy that we don’t allow apps that encourage illegal activity. If the apps intent is to encourage people to break the law, then we will pull it. I will take that back."

      Source: 9to5 Mac

      Interesting to see what happens.
    1. zYxMa's Avatar
      zYxMa -
      What drunk person would think about opening an app?
    1. Wvdave69's Avatar
      Wvdave69 -
      DUI checkpoints are public information(by law) that must be posted before the checkpoint begins, so I see no reason for any Apps to be taken away. Just another way for the scumbags in DC to try and control the public.
    1. akafred's Avatar
      akafred -
      i dont drink and drive but would love not having to go thru dui check points..
    1. LanCo Rider's Avatar
      LanCo Rider -
      The people saying that a drunk person would not think to open an app and check for DUI checkpoints is assuming that the person is sloppy, belligerently drunk. How about the person who just has three or four too many beers, is definitely not good to drive but can still check the app? I have seen more crashes in my line of work (EMS) from drivers who just had a few too many than those who are just plain hammered.

      And to argue the point that the checkpoints are posted by law... Who really reads the fine print in the newspaper where the notifications are printed? Not many, and they count on that.
    1. spice_weasel's Avatar
      spice_weasel -
      Quote Originally Posted by The 4th Amendment View Post
      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
      Thus the Constitution protects people from being stopped without a search warrant or at least “probable cause” that they have committed a crime.

      It's pretty clear.
    1. kakasaka's Avatar
      kakasaka -
      Quote Originally Posted by GellBrake'rrrr View Post
      I hope they don't do away with trapster!! I use it occasionally.
      I use the application as well...
      But sometime I use it for different reasons why I go out and race
    1. SoCal Railroader's Avatar
      SoCal Railroader -
      Quote Originally Posted by kakasaka View Post
      I use the application as well...
      But sometime I use it for different reasons why I go out and race

      That's something I would neither be proud of nor post on an open forum.

      Quote Originally Posted by Wvdave69 View Post
      DUI checkpoints are public information(by law) that must be posted before the checkpoint begins, so I see no reason for any Apps to be taken away. Just another way for the scumbags in DC to try and control the public.
      Uh huh, yep, they have DUI Checkpoints to control you and destroy the nation's freedoms
    1. ramicio's Avatar
      ramicio -
      Quote Originally Posted by spice_weasel View Post
      Thus the Constitution protects people from being stopped without a search warrant or at least “probable cause” that they have committed a crime.

      It's pretty clear.
      Finally some sanity. Check points are technically illegal. The apps are alerting citizens of illegal activity conducted by the police so they can avoid entrapment. BAC is subjective. Your brain and body learn to tolerate alcohol the more you get used to drinking. 0.08% is going to make an alcohol virgin drunk, where 0.08% will make a seasoned drinker not even buzzed. Buzzed driving is not drunk driving. DUIs weren't a problem in the 50s, 60s, and 70s when a lot of people would literally drink while driving. You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but check points basically are saying "you are guilty, now prove your innocence."
    1. SoCal Railroader's Avatar
      SoCal Railroader -
      Quote Originally Posted by ramicio View Post
      Buzzed driving is not drunk driving.
      Yes, it is.

      Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

      [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH47izXep-0]YouTube - Buzzed Driving - Hospital[/ame]

      I suggest you brush up on the facts. Oh, and if you are out there driving buzzed, please warn us so we can stay FAR away from you.
    1. ramicio's Avatar
      ramicio -
      Thank you for the after school propaganda. Get a clue loser.
    1. coolguy742's Avatar
      coolguy742 -
      I'm so glad these apps might be going away... and to anyone ho argues with me, its an app designed to help you evade the law. that is also against the law.

      Quote Originally Posted by ramicio View Post
      Thank you for the after school propaganda. Get a clue loser.
      ...BUZZED DRIVING IS DRUNK DRIVING...
    1. spice_weasel's Avatar
      spice_weasel -
      Quote Originally Posted by ramicio View Post
      Finally some sanity. Check points are technically illegal. The apps are alerting citizens of illegal activity conducted by the police so they can avoid entrapment. BAC is subjective. Your brain and body learn to tolerate alcohol the more you get used to drinking. 0.08% is going to make an alcohol virgin drunk, where 0.08% will make a seasoned drinker not even buzzed. Buzzed driving is not drunk driving. DUIs weren't a problem in the 50s, 60s, and 70s when a lot of people would literally drink while driving. You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but check points basically are saying "you are guilty, now prove your innocence."
      There are so many problems with the DUI racket, but they are all swept under the rug in the name of safety. IIRC, there's a little something about a trial by jury. Some states do, some states feel that's another DUI exception to the Constitution. I also believe there's a little thing about facing your accuser in court. Try asking a judge to provide you source code for the breathalizer used. For all you know, it's spitting out random numbers. You certainly can't independantly verify it's not. Also, this...
      CBS News has reported that five of eight breathalyzer machines in use in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had calibration problems. Approximately 1100 DUI cases are implicated.
      But yet, we are just supposed to trust a machine that no one will certify is actually accurate. One last tidbit to think about for now. You are convicted of having a blood alcohol content. The breathalizer does not measure blood alcohol content. It estimates with a wide range of accuracy depending on the person from mouth alcohol.
    1. Nickaroni22's Avatar
      Nickaroni22 -
      Typical government nonsense, trying to control everything. I'm pretty sure very few drunk people use these apps, if any. If there were apps showing how to make meth, that would be a issue.
    1. spice_weasel's Avatar
      spice_weasel -
      Quote Originally Posted by coolguy742 View Post
      I'm so glad these apps might be going away... and to anyone ho argues with me, its an app designed to help you evade the law. that is also against the law.
      So, you are ok with ignoring the constitution? It's ok because it takes dangerous drunks off the road? First off, might want to check the arrest stats of a checkpoint. Second off, just like everything else, it will expand. By ok'ing DUI checkpoints, you are pretty much agreeing to allow the police to pull you over with no cause. FWIW, the Michigan Supreme Court says just that. That's why they don't allow checkpoints.