Controversy Over Smartphone Apps That List DUI Checkpoints

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The Checkpointer iPhone App
Accidentally drank too many brewskies and now need to bypass the cops on the dangerous drive home?  

There's an app for that.

Several of them, actually, including the $4.99 iPhone "Checkpointer" by Baron Zweber, which lists DUI checkpoints in OC. According to the Orange County Register, the local bail bondsman uses publicly available information as reported by police agencies to give you the cross streets and/or GPS coordinates of where breathalyzer-armed officers may be lurking. The app can "potentially save you thousands of dollars by helping you avoid an arrest for a DUI," the description reads.

But a group of U.S. Senators believe that these types of smartphone apps only encourage people to down another drink and then take an alternate route. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) sent an open letter to Apple, Google and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) asking the companies to stop selling apps like Checkpointer, which they say "allow drunk drivers to evade police checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk."

So far, only RIM has agreed to do so.

Though Zweber and other app-makers believe that knowing the whereabouts of a DUI checkpoint might encourage drivers to think twice before drinking to the point of intoxication. Local police departments regularly send us press releases revealing the locations of upcoming sobriety checkpoints, information that we at the Weekly gladly pass onto you.

Use it responsibly.


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