It’s official. Congress has solved the nation’s problems. No
more debt worries. No problems with health care, Social Security or Medicare.
Why else would Congressmen be tackling the issue of cell phone apps that
alert drivers to DUI checkpoints?
Reno DUI defense lawyers should always be called to defend clients who are charged with drunk driving
as the result of a checkpoint stop. Make no mistake about it: Such law
enforcement roadblocks are a direct violation of your Fourth Amendment
rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Unfortunately, the courts
have stopped short of taking that position. However, with at least a nod
toward the Constitutional rights of motorists, the courts have placed
strict rules and limitations on the operation of a checkpoint.
As a result, those charged with DUI in Reno, Lake Tahoe or elsewhere in
California and Nevada have more ground upon which to challenge the stop
and arrest. In general, there must be a strict checkpoint plan enacted
by law enforcement to ensure every motorist is treated the same and that
other rules are followed. The officers must have proper training. And
there still must be probable cause for requesting that you submit to field
sobriety tests or a breathalyzer examination.
The truth is these checkpoints have not been a worthwhile law enforcement
tool for years. The number of drunk driving accidents is at an all-time
low. And cell phones, text messages, and good old-fashion word of mouth
from club to club has long helped ensure that such checkpoints are bypassed
by legions of motorists. Mostly the unwitting and the unlucky are left
to stumble upon them. And they are inherently unsafe for both officers
and motorists. But they pay overtime. And they therefore remain a beloved
tool of law enforcement and a primary way in which police departments
show the public they are being proactive and “tough on crime.”
So it is in this context that we have Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid,
D-Nevada, joining Charles Schumer of New York, Frank Lautenberg of New
Jersey and Tom Udall of New Mexico. The foursome sent letters to Apple,
Google and Research in Motion (the maker of Blackberry), asking that the
companies remove cell phone apps that identify the location of DUI checkpoints
and send warnings to drivers, according to the New York Times.
Even these devices are not new — “Phantom Alert” has
had a DUI checkpoint feature for several years and created a database
of speed traps and red-light and speed cameras in 2008. The software is
available not only for smart phones for but GPS navigation devices as well.
“With a person dying every 50 minutes in a drunk-driving crash, this
technology should not be promoted to your customers,” the letter
said. “In fact, it shouldn’t even be available.”
Makers of the warning systems argue they make drivers think twice about
drinking and driving.
If you or loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence,
contact our DUI defense team at Joey Gilbert Law for a free confidential
consultation. We can help! Live receptionist 24/ 7. Call (775) 574-4774.