It was a busy Memorial Day weekend for Long Island cops. According to an article in the Long Island Press, Nassau and Suffolk police made over one hundred DWI arrests over the weekend. Motorists (and boaters) can’t say they weren’t warned. As is typical before the holidays, both counties warned of increased use of roadblocks over the weekend. Suffolk County even announced increased Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) enforcement. (See my recent article about Boating While Intoxicated in New York.)
Law Enforcement was also busy on the East End, with a special joint task force checkpoint set up in Southampton. Nine arrests were made.
For the time being, the technologically savvy are using Apple and Android DWI apps which help drivers avoid checkpoints by displaying their locations. That may soon end, though, If U.S. Senator Charles Schumer gets his way. He is calling for Apple and Google to remove these apps from their app stores. Blackberry voluntarily removed these apps from its store earlier this year. Schumer stated that “Apple and Google shouldn’t be in the business of selling apps that help drunk drivers evade the police, and they shouldn’t be selling apps that they themselves admit are ‘terrible…’”
If these companies agree to remove the apps, Schumer has gotten what he wanted. It seems unlikely, however, that a complete ban of these apps would be seen as constitutional. There are certainly legitimate reasons for looking to avoid police checkpoints, whether a driver has been drinking or not. Cars are sometimes backed up for miles waiting to pass these roadblocks, so if you need to get someplace quick, one of these apps can prove to be very helpful.