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.

Email Chris Moody and follow him on Twitter

  • captaingrumpy

    Stop moaning and don’t drink and drive,…..easy.

  • sbrearcliffe

    Why aren’t we up in arms over government censorship????

  • shepmoors

    Tank McNamara, I appreciate your perspective and what you are saying. I guess our real problem is the ability of many chronic drunk drivers to lawyer up and buy their way out of their consequences and go back out to drive drunk again. This particular story irritated me because we have Senators in the federal government micromanaging our lives by getting rid of apps. Aren’t there more important issues of the day for them to be concerned about?

  • deimos

    Edward Moore Kennedy could not be reached for comment.

  • kingfish

    You’d THINK these congressmen would have something better to do since we’ve just contracted for another war we can’t pay for, there’s 2 going on we OBVIOUSLY can’t or don’t want to win, and the country is bankrupt due to Federal Reserve/Treasury THEFT.

  • centexan

    Come on! You’ve got to admit the last thing we need a drunk driver doing is checking out a map on his smart phone while driving. Do it before he leaves the bar? Do you think that’s what happens?

  • shepmoors

    I in no way advocate drunk driving, but I do have a problem with these checkpoints. You are legally allowed to turn around and not enter a check point. The police already have to notify the public where and when they are going to be having checkpoints. It is always posted in the newspaper. I found them annoying and hate when they stop and ask me “where are you coming from?” It is absolutely none of their business and they should not be able to stop anyone without reasonable suspicion of wrong doing. I would love to know if these things really stop anyone from drunk driving.

    • shepmoors

      (I find them annoying….should proof read. Wish we could edit these) Reid, Schumer, Udall and Lautenberg are drunk with power. Stop the ones who are up for election at the November 2012 checkpoint.

    • Tank McNamara

      Shepmoors, as a former state highway patrolman, i can say that these checkpoints are effective. However, effective can be a relative term. It may not “stop anyone from drunk driving” as you ask, but it is very effective in getting drunk drivers off the road, at least temporarily, and before they can harm themselves or others. In addition, it is effective in identifying drivers with suspended driver’s license or no license at all. Yes, they can be annoying but, IMO, they benefits outweigh the annoyance and minor inconvenience.

      • TonyJ0502

        Tank, the issue here isn’t whether or not they are effective. The point here is that they are B.S. You shouldn’t be able to just take me into a check point for no reason or wrong doing. That is the problem with this country. You can’t even drive down the highway without getting pulled over and heckled anymore. Everyday there is some policy that is slowing rotting our country and soon it won’t be put up with. Cops are great when they are doing the right thing but a giant pain when they are out against the general population that they are supposed to be “protecting and serving” to give us a seat belt ticket or worrying whether or not my tabs are expired. It’s becoming a money game against our own people.

  • thephranc

    What good is a police state if the peasants know how to avoid the warrant-less searches?

    • Jess81