If drivers are looking for speed zones and DUI checkpoints, there's an app for that but maybe not for long.
A group of four Democratic Senators say cell phone apps that pinpoint the location of DUI checkpoints through GPS are a "menace to the road" because they could allow drunk drivers to skirt the law.
Pressure from the Senators has now prompted Blackberry to remove two such apps from their Blackerry App World download site. Not everyone agrees removing the software is a move in the right direction, though.
"Let everybody know they're there because the whole idea is to get voluntary compliance," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Dave Bursten. "For example, with the speed zone areas, there's not somebody there 24 hours a day, but that app makes you think they're there 24 hours a day."
Fox 59 also showed the programs to Indianapolis Metro Police Detective Sgt. Michael Duke. Duke said there's a reason why they don't release the specific location of DUI checkpoints, but he also said the information isn't any big secret.
"We select our locations based on statistical analysis of previous information about crashes and DUI's," Duke said. "So anybody who is doing research knows where we're probably going to be anyway."
Though some drinkers may use the technology to avoid getting caught, police said that's why they use saturation patrols in the areas surrounding any checkpoints.
"So you may avoid the fixed location, but you take a chance of meeting the rolling officer," Bursten said.
Even the National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Laura Dean-Mooney, said the negative aspect of the apps, may not exceed the increased exposure they provide..
"We understand the Senators' concerns that the drunk drivers may misuse these apps to avoid the checkpoint," Dean-Monney said. "But we're also very confident in law enforcement being out there to get those who try to skirt around the checkpoint through the saturation patrol effort."
So far neither Apple nor Google have removed the programs from their app stores. The increased criticism has also led to a lot of increased business. Sales of one of the programs has grown more than 5,000% since the criticism began.