Apple bans DUI checkpoint apps on iOS devices

Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines to reject DUI checkpoint-locating apps.

Apps like Trapster uses GPS and user inputs to pinpoint locations where law enforcement officers are conducting traffic violation checks.
Apps like Trapster uses GPS and user inputs to pinpoint locations where law enforcement officers are conducting traffic violation checks. Dong Ngo/CNET

No, there won't be an app for this.

If you're thrilled about Apple's iCloud announcement this week, don't drink to it yet. Apple has just updated its App Store Review Guidelines, in which it now explicitly bans the implementation of driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints in apps for iOS-based devices.

Section 22.8 of the updated guidelines clearly states that "apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected."

This new development is likely Apple's response to the call of U.S. senators a few months ago, asking Apple, Google, and RIM to pull police-evasion apps from their mobile devices.

The new guidelines only apply to DUI checkpoints specifically; apps that pinpoint "speed traps," such as Trapster, are still available in the App Store. Note, however, that Apple only bans DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, and in California, the law requires that the general locations of these checkpoints be made public in advance.

So far it seems Apple is the first to change its policies accordingly, while Google's and RIM's app review guidelines remain the same for now.

It will be interesting to see how this ban will affect users, as generally if you're still able to worry about DUI checkpoints or even to run an app, you should be coherent enough to know you should call a cab.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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