New apps alert tipsy drivers to DUI checkpoints
Whether unspoken or not, there’s a certain level of cat-and-mouse gamesmanship between cops and drivers.
For instance, we admonish speeding and publicly consider it reckless behaviour. But, then again, maybe we’re not above flashing our high beams at oncoming cars to let them know a speed trap’s ahead. It’s all part of the game of roadside patrol.
Though DUIs, unless you’re Miguel Cabrera, are never acceptable. So, why is it there’s a flurry of smartphone apps designed to re-route tipsy drivers away from police checkpoints?
Indeed, the latest smartphone applications to cause a stir are so-called DUI checkpoint programs, which allow users to upload in real-time where police traps are set-up.
Via GPS, then, drivers can be alerted when they’re coming toward a recorded stop. The idea being: if you’ve had a few too many, avoid this part of town.
A few U.S. senators have publicly asked Apple, Google and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion to remove the controversial apps, but many are still there if you look on your phone today.
One, named “Fuzz Alert,” justifies its checkpoint-avoiding capabilities by saying DUIs can be “very expensive” for drivers, and here’s how you can help sidestep them. Some of the apps are free; others, like “Checkpointer,” cost $4.99.
Of course, there’s a bit of hypocrisy in calling for the removal of such apps. Speed trap programs and red light sensor alerts – whereby users are warned when they’re nearing cops or the traffic light cameras – have been around since the dawn of app downloads. One of them, which alerts to live DUI checkpoints, has more than 10 million users constantly updating its database of cop stops.
According to PC Mag, Apple, Google and RIM haven’t yet responded to removal requests of the divisive applications.
What do you think? Is the DUI checkpoint app morally wrong or just a harmless case of smartphones boasting what they’re capable of?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Didn't run but left at a good pace | Mar 24, 2021 5:44:25 AM
THis app NEEDS to stay. It is designed to notify drivers where check points are to help ALL drivers in avoiding costly tickets ie speeding tickets. They are spinning this as a DUI issue where in reality it is a loss in revenue issue by not catching every speeder.
Posted by: MADD Supporter | Mar 24, 2021 7:39:04 AM
Having been the victim of a drunk driver and being physically disabled for life as a result of this individuals' decision to "tie one on" and not be caught by a police checkpoint has forever altered my life:
- I have had over 60 orthopedic procedures to both legs
- I am now a constant chronic pain sufferer
- I cannot have children
- I was not able to continue my career as a pilot.
Think about how your actions could potentially impact someone else when you download this program. Yeah, getting pulled over and being stopped is a pain. But isn't it worse if you don't get stopped and take out a family in a minivan? I would imagine after that, your $4.99 download won't seem like such a great idea.
Posted by: MediaCat | Mar 24, 2021 8:42:23 AM
Awesome! Just another scenario to add to drunk drivers getting into accidents... one the one hand you have the ones who will be 'responsible' enough to check these apps while still at the bar or whatever venue they happen to be able... but on the other hand you will have those that will hear the alert of a new update and check their phones while driving further endangering themselves and others because they will not pay attention to the road, instead opting to see where the new updated checkpoint is... lots of room here for increased accidents...
I think these apps should be banned ... much like police band scanners... its no different...
Also comparing these sorts of things to the courtesy light flashes is erroneous... cuz when drivers flash their lights to others to let them know they're coming up on a speed trap, the drivers don't know if they're alerting speeders, drunks, etc... they're just sending out a courtesy warning... whereas with these apps they are alerting those drivers out there that are blatantly breaking the law and know it on both sides...
Or if states/provinces/countries really wanna make some money with these apps in terms of fines and whatnot then let them stand... just be sure that when a drunk driver kills or maims an innocent bystander and later its found out they where alerted by these apps and avoided being 'safely' caught then the apps producers should be charged as well for conspiracy or co-conspiracy or as an accomplice...
Posted by: Brian | Mar 24, 2021 9:11:26 AM
I say that these apps are a disgrace, plain and simple. Why not go one further and have an app that shows where young vulnerable college girls live close to parks??? Think about the ramifications of these actions.
The fact that these apps even exist is a testament to how invaluable human life is. Not two weeks ago a friend of mine was in a head on collision with someone who was caught on traffic cam looking at his phone instead of the road, whether alcohol was involved or not is not the issue here but more so the legality of the action.
Drinking and driving is illegal, So what do we do about these apps if the manufacturers won't ban them? I say we pay more taxes, get more police on the road during these times who are monitoring the apps and patrolling all other areas in unmarked cruisers. And he's the catch, Should the catch an impaired driver, they are to sequester their phone and have it scanned by a police technician, if it is then found they used an app to avoid the police checks, then in court they should also be charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, and the driving penalties should be tripled!
As it states above: "It's a cat and mouse gamesmanship" When you bend the rules you must be willing for the other to bend the consequences.
Posted by: luther | Mar 24, 2021 10:58:27 AM
Unlike traffic viloations - dui is a criminal offence.
Aiding or abetting a individual in the commission of a criminal offence also is a criminal ofence.
These apps are a violation of crimial law and, I for one, hope that the companies involved with them are charged and prosecuted for providing them.
Posted by: Duke Nukem | Mar 24, 2021 3:01:28 PM
The cost of these apps is much more cost effective than losing your license, the fine, the jail time, and impending criminal and civil lawsuits a DUI can bring on. Smart. Savvy. I like it.
Posted by: Rick K R | Mar 25, 2021 9:59:16 AM
I believe these apps should stay, I am from Canada and the drinking and driving laws here are very harsh. If you have 1 beer and drive you can get fine!! One glass of wine, you are over the limit.
I know that some people can hold their liquor well that they can drive normally and there are people who get tipsy after one beer.
These apps should be available to us to let us know which route to take to avoid DUI and Speed traps and the Gov't should provide these locations so that you've been warned ahead of time and if you do get caught at the predetermined locations, then you can not fight the ticket at all, since you are that dumb or you drank too much.
Posted by: Sep | Mar 25, 2021 10:35:38 AM
"THis app NEEDS to stay. It is designed to notify drivers where check points are to help ALL drivers in avoiding costly tickets ie speeding tickets. They are spinning this as a DUI issue where in reality it is a loss in revenue issue by not catching every speeder.
Took the words right out of my mouth! This is not about DUIs infact one of those apps is called speed trap. Its funny how the moment they mention DUI all you saps jump on board and support theses pigs! Its all for money people they are not making their quotas and are blaming the apps but turning the issue around so pour idiots who dont know better support them and help them screw all of us even more. No way! I wil not lie down while our rights are taken away. Police have more technologie to bust us and we have more technology to avoid being robbed blind by them.
Posted by: Rain | Mar 25, 2021 11:02:38 AM
The good, the bad, the ugly...
First speed trap alerts are good in that they actually make you slow down to avoid getting said speeding ticket... So if the app causes you to slow down as opposed to a fine then great... The idea is to slow down...
Second DUI check point alerts... If you are below 0.08 then this alert would prevent you from having to wait to get through the checkpoint, great... Maybe it'll even cause you to stay where you are until your blood alcohol level goes below 0.08... Great!... BUT if you are above 0.08 and you use this to avoid checkpoints as you drive home illegaly... then SHAME on you! If you are above 0.08 then you should NOT be driving! You may think you're ok to drive but lets face facts... Alcohol affects you... even if you feel normal. Your brain does slow down while consuming alcohol... I've seen many smart people consume alcohol (not copious amounts) and after that second glass they're just not as smart, not as quick, a little more relaxed, etc... So why take the chance behind the wheel... So you don't kill yourself... How would you like to live knowing you seriously injured or killed someone because you didn't have enough self-restraint (stay under 0.08) or enough discipline to not drive home.
To those of you who think they are fine to drive even though they are above 0.08... Well I hope these people divert to a road you're on... Maybe then we'll stop being so self-centered and selfish...
Posted by: J L K | Mar 27, 2021 11:14:24 PM
To all those who support this, I hope you all die a horrible death, preferrably by my hands.
Posted by: Snarky1 | Apr 1, 2021 5:58:48 AM
I am a person who has had my life & all those around me, especially family changed forever by a drunk driver. I can no longer work at a job I loved. I will never walk again.
I hope those that support this get creamed by a drunk & need someone around 24 hours a day to have their ass cleaned, take urine from you when needed & that is immediate-you can't hold it or you will go into severe pain. Scratch that itch because you can't. Turn the tv channel for you & so much more. Have someone else pick your nose.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Your paying high insurance costs for this now. While your driving, slow down a bit in the city, you'll just get to the red light sooner, tailgating & cutting people off just causes road rage & accidents.
I do think the alcohol level could be higher but no one took the hint earlier so now suffer the lower limits.
Police scanners are legal unless used in assistance in crime or to use to profit, ie: taxi or tow trucks trying to beat each other to a customer. Most police can't be recieved on scanners anymore anyway.
Posted by: riff | Apr 1, 2021 7:11:23 AM
To those who support this application that enables a criminal offence with potentially horrible consequences, go live in another country. Providers of the app should be held responsible for the crimes they help commit. Drawing the line somewhere is sometimes difficult, but this is a no-brainer.
Posted by: You Know | Apr 1, 2021 1:40:15 PM
Such apps encourage people to push the limits, i agree with all the people that have suffered the consiqences. Come on you drunks, dont think that society favors you. because we dont! These lossers that premot this crap havnt lost a loved one to any influenced driver/substance abuse person. This world has gone to crap is all i can say!
Posted by: Austin M | Apr 1, 2021 1:48:47 PM
It is to my belief that handheld devices are currently illegal to drive with (in canada at least). As someone who can barely walk and text, nevermind text while i drive, this app seems like a further excuse to distract yourself from the road and pile your car into a ditch... with or without a nearby roadblock.
Posted by: NOT MADD | Apr 1, 2021 2:27:38 PM
MADD can go to hell!!!!!
These apps pwn!!!
Posted by: LGF | Apr 1, 2021 4:36:38 PM
Don't break the law and you don't get fined, simple as that. The maker of this app should be jailed for aiding and abiding.
Posted by: avenger | Apr 1, 2021 11:27:08 PM
THE COMPANIES THAT HAVE COME UP WITH THIS SOFTWARE SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE!GET SERIOUS PEOPLE!YOU WANT MORE DRUNKS ON THE ROAD LIKE YOU WANT EVERYBODY WALKING AROUND WITH A LOADED GUN SHOOTING ANYTHING OUT OF SHEER STUPIDITY!LIKE A DRUNK WOULD HAVE THE BRAINS TO CHECK HIS APP ANYWAY!THERE ARE CHECKSTOPS FOR A REASON-TAKE THE GUN AWAY BEFORE THEY TRIP AND IT GOES OFF! THERE SHOULD BE A SOFTWARE APP THAT TASERS YOU IN TO UNCONCIOUSNESS SO YOU KNOW YOUR TOO LOADED TO DRIVE-THAT SAID EVERY VEHICLE ON THE ROAD SHOULD HAVE A SENSOR ON IT SO THAT YOUR GUN WON'T START!MAKE THIS A LAW!----M.A.D.D.-STAND UP AND GET BEHIND THIS !OR MAYBE OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT DO-GOODERS-NEED MORE REVENUE-JUST THINK HOWMANY SCREWUPS EMPLOY SO MANY-HIGHLY PAID PEOPLE!
Posted by: Geno | Apr 8, 2021 2:27:22 PM
www.duidodger.com is a new app that was recently released earlier this week. Its used nation wide in the US, but focuses on LA/Orange County area in Southern California. I have posted the press release below.
DUI Dodger Press Release
In some states, DUI checkpoints are more rampant than ever. Fight back with DUI Dodger, the app that allows you to view and submit DUI checkpoints in your area. The idea is that information is power, and people will be less inclined to drink and drive if they know that there is a checkpoint in their area, that they are drunk, and that driving drunk carries major consequences.
DUI Dodger lets users mark exactly where they saw a DUI checkpoint, which can then be seen by anyone in the area who has the app on their phone.
DUI checkpoints are always changing, so listings expire automatically after 24 hours. If a user finds that a listing is inaccurate, they can “flag” the listing and it will be indicated on the DUI checkpoint detail screen.
DUI Dodger also comes with a Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) calculator, as well as a game that aims to detect a person’s sobriety level by simulating a police field sobriety test. The BAC calculator takes in a number of variables, including age, gender, weight, type of drinks consumed, and duration of consumption, and then returns a person’s BAC level based on that information.
In addition to calculating BAC level, DUI Dodger features a “walk the line” game. In that game, users hold their phone face up, arms extended, and walk in a straight line for 5 to 10 seconds. The phone records the user’s stability as they walk, and averages it out for the user so they can see for themselves how balanced (or unbalanced) they are.
DUI Dodger not only allows users to see and submit DUI checkpoints, estimates their BAC level, and tests their sobriety, it also provides a number of useful and interesting facts and myths about drunk driving. This information, coupled with knowledge about a person’s current sobriety level, will hopefully lead to increased awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.