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NYPD Demands Google GPS App Stop Helping People Get Around DUI Checkpoints

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The New York Police Department demanded that Google’s GPS navigation app Waze stop helping drivers avoid DUI checkpoints.

Waze allows users to upload GPS data of police locations. The uploads don’t specify that the police presence is a DUI checkpoint, but users can go to the Waze live map to see comments that may indicate that where a checkpoint is.

Waze has advertised the general feature with the tagline “Get alerted before you approach police,” reported CNN. Waze believes “highlighting police presence promotes road safety because drivers tend to drive more carefully and obey traffic laws when they are aware of nearby police,” an app spokesperson said.

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But the NYPD is not buying it. NYPD acting Deputy Commissioner Ann Prunty said in a Feb. 2 letter to Google, according to CNN:

Individuals who post the locations of DWI checkpoints may be engaging in criminal conduct since such actions could be intentional attempts to prevent and/or impair the administration of the DWI laws and other relevant criminal and traffic laws. The posting of such information for public consumption is irresponsible since it only serves to aid impaired and intoxicated drivers to evade checkpoints and encourage reckless driving.

Waze continued to justify the feature’s existence.

“We’ve also seen police encourage such reporting as it serves as both a warning to drivers, as well as a way to highlight police work that keeps roadways safe,” the app spokesperson told CNN Thursday. “There is no separate functionality for reporting police speed traps and DUI/DWI checkpoints — the Waze police icon represents general police presence.”

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The NYPD is the nation’s largest police force, according to CNN.

Some high-profile sports starts were busted for driving under the influence recently. Former Texas Longhorns quarterback Vince Young was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence Wednesday. Former Dallas Cowboys player Darren McFadden was arrested Jan. 21 for drunk driving at a Whataburger in Texas.

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About Evie Fordham

One comment

  1. Posting DWI checkpoints “may be” engaging in criminal activity? The acting police chief doesn’t KNOW if it’s criminal or not. BS
    She also said ” it only serves to aid impaired and intoxicated drivers”. Really? Maybe a sober person just wants to avoid the hassel of a checkpoint. A truly impaired and intoxicated person would probably not be checking for DUI checkpoints on their phone app.
    NYPD acting Deputy Commissioner Ann Prunty doesn’t seem up to the job if she doesn’t know what is or is not legal. Why she cares about posting DWI locations is another question. Perhaps the thought of losing arrest revenue bothers her.
    If Prunty is an example, maybe other NYPD officers don’t know what is legal or not. If that is the case, then it would be wise for EVERYONE to avoid the checkpoints, for fear of possibly being arrested for something that is not illegal.

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