Shameful DUI Checkpoint App Finally Gets Pulled Over

Nicole Fabian-Weber

car crashMy genuine attempt to avoid that much-overused iPhone phrase has proven futile. If you want to drive drunk -- and get away with it -- there's an app for that. There, I said it.

However, not for long. Congress, which apparently has more say than Google and Apple (who knew?), has struck down its mighty gavel, giving the app the ol' heave-ho. And with good reason.

See, there are these DUI checkpoint apps, which essentially notify tipsy drivers where cops will be, potentially allowing them to avoid being asked to walk that straight line. Drinking, checking your phone, and avoiding the police all at once? Yeah, it's probably best that we do away with them.

The apps (DUI Dodger, Trapster, Buzzed) use crowdsourcing to comprise info on checkpoints, speed traps, and other traffic-y things one would want to avoid. Technically, one could argue that these apps are simply available to help drivers get from A to B quicker, but one would also have to be pretty naive to think drivers under the influence wouldn't use them to avoid pesky things like getting arrested, as well.

The companies (Apple, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, and Google) started taking heat a few months ago when they were urged by a group of senators to nix the app via a letter

We know that your companies share our desire to end the scourge of drunk driving and we therefore would ask you to remove these applications from your store unless they are altered to remove the DUI/DWI checkpoint functionality.

Seems reasonable. Doesn't appear to be any ulterior motive, big business is king government shenanigans here. Sounds like they just want to put a stop to drunk driving like the rest of us.

But Apple and Google begged to differ (Research in Motion complied). Alan Davidson, Google's director of public policy, said that they abide by a strict set of policies to remove apps that are, for lack of a better word, shady ("Gay Cure" app comes to mind). He told Congress they'd "look into" the legal status of the DUI checkpoint apps. Apple echoed a similar sentiment.

However, Congress doesn't give a rat's because they gave the companies 30 days to pull the apps. Thank God. I mean, 10,000 people do die a year from the completely avoidable cause of drunk driving. Do we really need anything that will keep things status quo, or worse, raise the number? I love you to pieces, dear iPhone and MacBook, but good riddance, DUI checkpoint apps. I'm glad there won't be an app for that.

What do you think of the DUI checkpoint apps?


Image via adrian8_8/Flickr

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