DUI Smartphone Apps
According to Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore, technology, especially with regard to smartphone devices, is rapidly changing every part of our daily lives — including DUI enforcement. There are reportedly multiple applications available through the Apple store for download onto the iPhone that assist a user in avoiding police speed traps as well as DUI roadblocks (sobriety checkpoints). These applications generally involve data added by users, says Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William R. Moore. For instance, if a user is aware that the Broward Sheriff’s Office plans on erecting DUI roadblocks around the county this weekend, he can add the locations into the system, which show on a map.
Because the locations of DUI checkpoints must be publicized in advance anyway in accordance with the law, this is public information that is accessible to private citizens. Similarly, a motorist who regularly drives through a small town and is aware that the local law enforcement agency issues frequent tickets for speeding violations might map the location as a “speed trap.”
Today, several U.S. Senators sent a letter to Apple, Inc. to request that they remove Trapster and other iPhone apps from the Apple Store, as the applications allowed the users to identify the locations of DUI checkpoints. The Senators’ concern seems misplaced, however, as the roadblocks must be publicized well in advance. The publicity is required so as to minimize the inherently intrusive nature of the checkpoint and remain in compliance with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures.
We have written extensively on this blog previously regarding the numerous problems associated with sobriety checkpoints. Though ostensibly erected in order to spot and prevent DUI, the DUI roadblocks are frequently tremendously effective revenue generators for police departments.
Law enforcement officers tend to issue numerous tickets and citations for a variety of offenses: driving while license suspended, no valid driver’s license, expired driver’s license, bad window tints (too dark), expired registration, tag not assigned to the vehicle, insurance violations, etc. The list goes on and on, but the DUI roadblocks tend to net very few drivers who are actually under the influence.