In a bizarre move, the New York Police Department has asked Google to stop revealing DUI stops on its Waze app.
The NYPD claims that by revealing the location of DUI checkpoints, Google is enabling drunk drivers and putting lives at risk.
How Waze is different from other GPS apps
Waze is a popular mapping app that allows people to tag things like traffic congestion, accidents and even speed traps. Others using the service can see these tags. It allows drivers to navigate around hazards that may slow down their commute.
Users are beginning to tag DUI checkpoints on the app, which allows drivers the chance to avoid these routes and thus the DUI stop. Many commuters may use Waze to avoid the congestion that comes with DUI checkpoints. NYPD alleges that the app gives drunk drivers the ability to avoid punishment.
Is it illegal to publicize DUI checkpoints?
Despite what NYPD claims, Google isn’t doing anything illegal by publishing these stops. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it's allowable to have advance notice of these checkpoints. That came in the same 1990 ruling that said a stop is constitutional.
Therefore, it isn’t illegal for anyone to publicize the location of these checkpoints. In fact, many precincts make it standard procedure to announce checkpoint locations ahead of time.
Dealing with checkpoints
Driving impaired is never acceptable, but people can be charged with a DUI even when they aren’t impaired. While some states have outlawed DUI checkpoints entirely, Florida allows them throughout the year.
If you get stopped at a DUI checkpoint and are charged with driving under the influence, it’s important to defend yourself. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the process and fight for your rights.