Makers of the DUI-checkpoint apps are defending themselves after senators criticized the apps as being “harmful to the public safety.” The apps in question show users the location of sobriety checkpoints, which Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) argued helps drunk drivers avoid being caught.
Joe Scott, the CEO and founder of checkpoint app PhantomALERT, told ComputerWorld, that his app is a safetry tool. Touting the endorsements his app has received from police departments around the country, Scott defended the app and said it merely passes on information readily available from police departments. He added that that the app, which relies on user-reported data, often makes it look like there are more sobriety checkpoints than there are. That, he argued, actually prevents drunk driving.
In the report, Morgan Reed, executive director of the Association for Competitive Technology said the senators are “missing the point” of the apps.
“Law enforcement authorities have embraced these services, expressing their strong approval for products that reduce speeding and improve traffic safety,” he said.
Reed also said that the government should not be telling independent companies what to do.
"The suggestion that the government should compel Apple, RIM, or other mobile application stores to block programs that simply allow users to report information based on location is misguided at best. Having the government act as arbiter of which products should be sold in stores is a slippery slope that few would welcome."
RIM has agreed to pull the apps from its marketplace, Lautenberg’s office announced in a press release. The International Business Times reported that a Google source told them the company would not pull the apps because they do not violate any of its Android Marketplace policies. Apple has not commented on the situation.