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Google’s GPS App “Waze” Is Helping People Get Around DUI Checkpoints and NYPD Isn’t Happy About It

NEW YORK, NY – 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 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.

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


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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.”

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.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.


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