Politics

Company gives into pressure from Senate Democrats, will remove ‘drunk-driving’ apps from smartphones

Bowing to pressure from Senate Democrats, the company that makes Blackberry smartphones will stop hosting an application that lets drivers know where police set up checkpoints for random drunk driving tests.

The application notifies users where law enforcement agencies set up red-light cameras, speed traps and other checkpoints, which the senators — who signed a joint letter Monday calling on the company to do away with the apps — called “harmful to public safety.”

“Drunk drivers will soon have one less tool to evade law enforcement and endanger our friends and families,” Sens. Charles Schumer of New York, Harry Reid of Nevada, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Tom Udall of New Mexico said in joint statement.

The polite, but stern letter, which they sent to executives at Google, Apple and Research In Motion — the company that makes Blackberry smartphones — suggested that the companies were helping to put “innocent families and children at risk.”

“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 read.

The senators plan to continue pressuring other smartphone companies to follow Research In Motion and remove their apps as well.

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