Research in Motion (RIM), a company that creates applications for use on Blackberry smartphones, recently agreed to drop its app that allowed people to search for DUI checkpoints and other road hazards, according to an article in PC World magazine. RIM agreed to make the change after several U.S. senators, including Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, and Mark Udall, asked the company to drop the app, which they believe give an unfair advantage to drunk drivers.
The application, known as “PhantomALERT,” provided information on local â€œspeed traps, red light cameras, speed cameras, school zones, DUI checkpoints, and dangerous intersections,â€ according to PC World. The app was sold online through Blackberry App World. Three similar programs for Apple’s iPhone have also been removed from Apple’s store. Two of the Apple apps were specific to Los Angeles and Orange County, California, but the third provided information on DUI checkpoints and other points along roads within a 100-mile radius of the user.
Although the apps have non-DUI-related uses, such as helping drivers avoid dangerous intersections or traffic backups, the senators who requested these apps be removed were primarily concerned that drivers might use them to evade the law. However, knowing where New Hampshire DUI checkpoints are is no guarantee that a driver will not be stopped by police, whether the drivers is drunk or sober.