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DUI checkpoint smartphone applications draw fire

 Posted on March 24, 2011 in DUI

California law allows for law enforcement to set up DUI checkpoints, if the operation satisfies certain constitutional safeguards. Santa Cruz drunk driving attorneys know the California Supreme Court provided guidance on the specific criteria for law enforcement to follow in setting up a checkpoint in a case called Ingersoll vs. Palmer.

On Monday, USA Today ran a story regarding smartphone applications that alert users of the applications to a variety of law enforcement operations, including DUI checkpoints. Four federal lawmakers raised their objection to the sale of the smartphone applications.

Four U.S. Senators sent a letter Tuesday to Apple, Google and Blackberry asking the companies to stop selling wireless telephone applications that allow users to identify the locations of sobriety checkpoints. One of the applications that the federal senators targeted is an application the "contains a database of DUI checkpoints updated in real time," according to the senator's letter. The senators also cited an application they say has more than 10 million users, which "allows users to alert each other to DUI checkpoints in real time."

Federal lawmakers do not have direct authority over an individual state's DUI laws. The four senators apparently are writing directly to Apple, Google and Research in Motion, maker of the Blackberry device, to raise their concerns over the wireless technology applications. The letter on Tuesday asked the technology companies to remove the applications from their downloadable stores or remove the DUI checkpoint functionality from the applications.

Source: USA Today, "Four senators target DUI checkpoint apps," Larry Copeland 22 Mar 2011

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