Tech-savvy mobile phone application makers in recent months have been able to design programs that alert drivers to upcoming DUI checkpoints, but Apple has said it will no longer accept such applications. A Birmingham DUI defense lawyer should be immediately consulted if you face a DUI charge as a result of a DUI checkpoint.
According to the article, Apple's new AppStore guidelines state that it will no longer accept applications that contain DUI checkpoints not published by law enforcement agencies. The move comes months after four Democratic U.S. senators asked smartphone manufacturers to stop selling such apps or remove the DUI checkpoint function.
While some smartphone manufacturers immediately stopped producing these applications, Apple, which makes the iPhone, and Google, which sells Android-based apps, didn't.
“PhantomAlert” is one of the most popular and the most sophisticated programs alerting drivers of checkpoint whereabouts. The program has approximately 500,000 locations in its database. This database grows every time drivers send in a real-time alert pertaining to an enforcement location. These alerts are subsequently corroborated by other users. Through GPS information, the next driver that approaches an active checkpoint, and is running the cell phone application, will receive a warning. This system, that was initially created to locate speed traps, is available to smart phone users starting at $9.99 a month.
While many people argue that DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional –violating every citizen's Fourth Amendment right to be free of illegal search and seizures, the U.S. Supreme Court in Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz ruled 6-3 that the checkpoints are constitutional because they can “reasonably be said to advance” the interest of preventing drunk driving.
Some others argue that the checkpoints are a waste of the limited resources that law enforcement agencies have and that putting those officers on patrol instead of lumped into a single staging area would be more productive. But either way, police departments and sheriff's offices across the country routinely set up these checkpoints, usually on the weekends, to catch drunk drivers.
But whether a person is arrested for DUI at a checkpoint or pulled over by an officer, the same factors may still apply and our lawyers will still aggressively defend you. That means attacking the statements made by police officers, proving that the breathalyzer test results, if the driver conceded to taking one, were faulty and trying to show that the officer didn't have the proper training to conduct field sobriety testing and other factors.
The penalties for DUI in Alabama are stiff and therefore must be aggressively defended. As drivers pick up additional DUI charges, the penalties get even more severe. While no one plans to get charged once, let along twice, having a DUI conviction on your record is a real good way to get stopped, questioned and charged again. So, don't try to go it alone. Protect your rights by hiring a Birmingham DUI attorney as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know is arrested and needs to talk with a Birmingham DUI lawyer, contact Eversole Law at 205-981-2450 for a free consultation.
Previous Blog Entries:
Cell Phone Apps Pinpoint DUI Checkpoints in Alabama: April 29, 2011