Technology has made it possible for us to have easy access to information, be it in the heart of a major city or even out in the middle of the country. With smartphones becoming more and more common, users can download apps that give them even more access to real-time data. Information about the weather, traffic or sports scores are available with the touch of a button.
Recently, some lawmakers and law enforcement agencies have expressed concern regarding several apps on the market. These apps alert smartphone users to the locations of police sobriety checkpoints. Officials believe that this gives those driving while intoxicated an opportunity to discover where DWI roadblocks are located, and simply take a different route to their eventual destination.
Senators Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg and Tom Udall all have contacted smartphone manufacturers requesting that these companies not allow software applications that disclose the location of sobriety checkpoints. The legislators believe that the apps are a danger to public safety in that they allow drunk drivers to avoid detection by law enforcement officials.
The apps have proved quite popular, with one having over 10 million users. There are several different options available, including several that can be downloaded and used for free. The apps send continually updated information regarding locations of roadblocks sent in by those who encounter checkpoints, which allows those using the app to stay up-to-date on what is happening at any given time. Additional features allow users to learn of other roadways with a heavy police presence.
Law enforcement is hoping that the attention given to the issue by the legislators will help make the apps disappear. Blackberry has bowed to pressures and removed the apps from its stores, but they are still available through other app providers.