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Apple restricts availability of iPhone apps with DUI checkpoint functions

For the last few years, users of iPhones, Blackberrys and Android-based phones have become accustomed to downloading new phone applications - or "apps" - designed to alert them to the location of speed traps, red light cameras and even DUI sobriety checkpoints not otherwise made public by the police.

Not surprisingly, these apps with DUI checkpoint functions - often available for free or for a nominal price - proved to be very unpopular among law enforcement officials across the country.

In fact, the clamor by law enforcement agencies eventually grew so loud that four U.S. senators - including Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey), Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) and our own Charles Schumer (D-New York) - wrote a letter to Apple (maker of the iPhone), Research in Motion (Canadian-based maker of the Blackberry) and Google (seller of Android-based apps) last spring asking them to stop offering these apps.

While Research in Motion elected to stop offering apps with DUI checkpoint functions immediately, both Apple and Google refused to do so.

However, following a hearing before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law, Apple finally reversed its position last month.

Specifically, the computer giant announced that it is now prohibiting all future apps from its online store that contain DUI checkpoint functions. However, those apps with DUI checkpoint functions already in the store's catalogue would still be available for download.

Accordingly, while the senators were pleased with Apple's decision, they felt more work needed to be done.

"I strongly encourage Apple to take the next responsible step of removing all applications that allow unsafe drivers to evade police checkpoints," said Sen. Reid.

Senator Schumer added, "This victory will remain only half-won until the existing apps are removed from the store."

Being arrested for drunk driving can have a serious impact on your life in a number of ways and result in various penalties. In fact, many of these penalties are much more serious than the mere license suspension or revocation.

When faced with this scenario, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Stay tuned for more from our New York traffic law blog ...

Related Resources:

Apple to stop accepting DUI checkpoint apps (USA Today)

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