Senators Call for Removal of DUI-Dodging Apps

Four U.S. Senators are on a mission to eliminate apps that share information about DUI checkpoints and presumably help drunk drivers get away with their crime.

In a letter to Apple, Research In Motion (the maker of BlackBerrys), and Google, Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) requested the companies stop selling applications that can be used to dodge DUIs, citing public safety concerns.

"We know that your companies share our desire to end the scourge of drunk driving and we therefore would ask you to remove these applications from your store unless they are altered to remove the DUI/DWI checkpoint functionality," the letter says.

The Senators argue there is no other reason for consumers to use apps like Buzzed and PhantomAlert unless they plan to drink and drive. Capt. Paul Starks of the Montgomery County Police Department agrees.

"If people are going to use those, what other purpose are they going to use them for except to drink and drive?" Starks asked USA Today. "They're only thinking of one consequence, and that's being arrested. They're not thinking of ending the lives of other motorists, pedestrians, other passengers in their cars or themselves."

Not so, says Joe Scott, CEO and founder of PhantomAlert. Scott argues that his company is actually on the same page as law enforcement and the Senators reaction is unwarranted.

"If they really understood what we are doing and aim to achieve, they would actually support us," he said."We're doing exactly what the police departments are doing -- putting up PSAs and letting people know there are checkpoints -- to deter people from drinking and driving.”

What do you think?

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Categories: iPhone Apps

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