Gansler, Biden concerned with mobile phone apps

Keith Loria Mar. 28, 2011, 1:55pm


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden want to ban smartphone applications that notify drunk drivers of law-enforcement checkpoints.

The applications, which are currently available for download for the Apple iPhone and Google Android phones, provide the locations of police checkpoints and give users the ability to inform others about upcoming checkpoints on the road.

Gansler and Biden sent a letter expressing their concerns to Apple's senior vice president for iPhone Software and the CEO of Google.

"These smartphone applications give drunk drivers a 'how-to' guide to evade DUI checkpoints and endanger the lives of innocent citizens on our roads," Gansler said. "We strongly urge Google and Apple to take the most responsible and reasonable step and ban these types of applications altogether. These are nothing more than an overt method of circumventing laws that were specifically enacted to save lives."

In the letter, the attorneys general urged the companies to take the responsible step of removing these applications. Vehicles driven by drunk drivers, they wrote, should be considered deadly weapons and providing them with ways to circumvent the law and stay on the road is dangerous.

"I'm deeply concerned that these smartphone applications reduce our ability to get impaired drivers off the streets and protect our families from the tragic consequences of drinking and driving," Biden said. "Automobiles with drunk drivers behind the wheel are deadly weapons. I am urging Apple to do the right thing and join us in keeping drunk drivers off our roads, not provide them with a road map to avoid checkpoints that are meant to protect our families."

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