Houman Fakhimi

Cell Phone Apps Reveal Locations of Orange County DUI Checkpoints

Four Democratic senators recently wrote letters to Apple, Google and Research in Motion (RIM) asking that the companies remove DUI checkpoint locator apps that "allow drunk drivers to evade police checkpoints."

Instead of removing the app, Apple decided to approve a new one, according to The Orange County Register. The Democrat officials believe such apps are helping drunk drivers to avoid DUI checkpoints, which increases the risk of drunk driving accidents in California and elsewhere in the country.

The new app, called DUI Dodger, is available for iPhone users for $0.99. It was approved by Apple, as all apps sold in the company's App Store are, and became available for purchase last week.

Original software was created to alert drivers of red-light cameras and speed traps, but now the apps can help drivers to protect their Fourth Amendment rights by avoiding these checkpoints altogether. Our Orange County DUI defense lawyers urges you to contact an experienced attorney if you've been slapped with DUI charges because of one of these DUI checkpoints.

"With a person dying every 50 minutes in a drunk-driving crash, this technology should not be promoted to your customers," the letter from the Democratic senators stated. "In fact, it shouldn't even be available."

Creators of such apps, including "Phantom Alert", "Tipsy" and "Checkpointer" are defending their products by stating that the service is actually helping to prevent DUI accidents and arrests, not by encouraging drivers to avoid these checkpoints but by encouraging them to stay home instead.

Some of these applications have been available since 2009.They're offered on smartphones including the iPhone, the Blackberry and the Android. But it doesn't stop there. Drivers can also access the programs through various GPS systems including Garmin and TomTom.

"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.

While many government officials believe the apps are simply allowing for drunk drivers to travel our roads more easily, many argue that the locations of such DUI checkpoint can still be broadcast through cell phone call, text messages and good old word of mouth. These checkpoints must maintain strict compliance with the rules and regulations that permit their operation. When they don't, an experienced defense lawyer can seek a reduction or dismissal of the charges.