There’s an app for that! No seriously. There are applications that inform drivers of the whereabouts of local DUI checkpoints, and the United States government is not happy about it. It’s the latest Big Brother move – last week Minneapolis DUI lawyers noted the story about local authorities using traffic cameras to hunt offenders.
Last month, four Democratic senators sent letters directly to Google, Research in Motion (RIM) and Apple suggesting the companies remove the apps that allow drivers to get a sneak peek at DUI checkpoint locations, according to The New York Times. Phone models including the Apple iPhone, the Android and the BlackBerry all come equipped to run software, such as “PhantomAlert“, which has been providing DUI checkpoint features since 2009.
Other navigation devices such as the Garmin and the TomTom, popular GPS devices, can also access the software. Originally created to alert drivers of red-light cameras and speed traps, the software can now help drivers protect their Fourth Amendment rights by avoiding the checkpoints altogether. Radar detectors have been legal for a generation. What we have here is someone saying “if you are going to watch me, I’m going to watch your right back.”
If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, your first call should be to a DUI defense lawyers in Bloomington. We defend clients who have been charged with drunk driving as the result of a checkpoint stop. There is no doubt that such law enforcement roadblocks directly violate your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Unfortunately, the courts have not agreed. What they have done is nod toward the Constitution in putting in place strict guidelines that must be followed by law enforcement when conducting such stops. As a result, there are more grounds upon which to challenge sobriety checkpoint arrests in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, having apparently solved all the real problems in Washington, the new app has several politicians up in arms.
“These applications are nothing more than a how-to guide in avoiding law enforcement and they provide drunk drivers with the tools they need to go undetected,” argued Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York.
The letter that the four Democrats sent to the computer companies stated that such software could cause more harm to motorists as intoxicated drivers are more likely to evade checkpoints with this knowledge. They argue the software is “putting innocent families and children at risk.”
Creators of the DUI checkpoint apps argue the other way by saying that the apps are designed to have motorists think twice before they go out drinking and driving. The knowledge of a checkpoint should convince them not to take any risks and potentially end up in jail.
If you are being charged with a DUI, it is critical you contact an experienced Minnesota Law Office. Call Kanz Law Firm LLC at 1-888-972-6060 for a free case review. Kanz Law Firm LLC exercises a strong commitment to fighting for the rights of clients charged with drunk driving throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.