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Senators urge Apple to pull DUI checkpoint apps

Mike Schramm
March 23, 2011
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A group of senators from four different states sent a message to Apple yesterday to pull any apps from the App Store that supposedly alert drivers of drunk driving checkpoints. The letter, which was also sent to Google and RIM, stated that "giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern," and mentioned just one such app, called PhantomALERT.

The CEO of the company that makes that app claims it's completely legal, saying that police often advertise the same checkpoint locations before they're set up, warning drivers to be careful in certain areas and never to drink and drive. A police officer in Oregon, according to ComputerWorld, is pretty indifferent to the whole argument. "If things like these apps increase awareness on the part of drivers to slow down and drive to the signs posted and the conditions," he said, "that helps people stay alert and drive safely."

So, it seems like much ado over something that's not a huge issue. Of course, if people are using these apps to dodge checkpoints, that could be a problem, but if police are advertising these things ahead of time anyway, it's hard to see why these apps are under fire.

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