Bergen County, NJ, Drunk Driving Defense News: Apple to Remove Apps that Locate DWI Roadblocks

Apparently Apple has joined Research in Motion in dumping software applications that allegedly notify drivers of the times and locations of sobriety checkpoints and drunken driving roadblocks. For anyone who doesn’t know, DWI checkpoints are set up by state and local police in areas that have a historically high incidence of drunk driving.

Motorists in Bergen, Monmouth, Ocean and Sussex County have no doubt seen these police enforcement techniques used throughout the years. And although these roadblocks are fairly random in nature, law enforcement agencies are required by law to announce future checkpoints to the public.

As a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer, I and my staff of experienced drunk driving attorneys understand the logic behind these sobriety roadblocks — that of catching motorists who may have had too much to drink and are legally intoxicated — however, we also know that many drivers do not even realize that their blood-alcohol content (BAC) is over the legal limit when they are stopped by police.

In an effort to assist individuals who have been unjustly accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol and prescription medication (drug DUI), my firm represents these people in a court of law. Much had been made recently of the software applications (or “apps”) available to smartphone users that notify motorists of the time and location of individual sobriety checkpoints.

Several U.S. Congress members had requested Google, Apple and other smartphone manufacturers to remove these apps from their stores, considering them to be a way for citizens to subvert the law. Apparently their efforts have made Apple think twice about marketing sobriety checkpoint apps, such as one offered by Fuzz Alert. According to news reports, Apple announced that it will begin to reject iPhone applications that tip drivers off regarding locations and times of DWI enforcement checkpoints designed to catch drunken drivers. The decision by the tech giant came after pressure from Charles Schumer (NY), Harry Reid (NV), Frank Lautenberg (NJ) and Tom Udall (NM) requested that the company eliminate those types of apps from their software store.

It should be noted that Apple altered its app developer guidelines saying now that it would reject apps that identify DWI checkpoints that are NOT published by law enforcement agencies. It also says that it will reject those applications that “encourage and enable drunk driving.” Although many apps that might be in violation were still reportedly on sale at Apple’s App Store, the company typically gives app developers a certain amount of time to update their software offerings so that they may be able to better conform to changes in company guidelines.

Apple to nix apps that tip off drunk drivers, CBSNews.com, June 9, 2011