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DUI Checkpoint Apps Banned by Apple, not Google

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 13, 2011 9:51 AM

After months of requests from U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Harry Reid, Apple has finally given in and decided to impose a partial ban on any new DUI checkpoint apps submitted to its App Store.

Unlike Apple, Google is remaining steadfast in its decision, and will continue to sell the apps, which provide users with real time alerts of DUI checkpoint locations around town.

The main concern with DUI checkpoint apps has been that they encourage and enable driving under the influence by allowing users to avoid local law enforcement.

When asked to remove these apps from their stores, both Google and Apple indicated that, while they would remove illegal apps from their stores, they were going to stand behind the principles of free speech and continue to sell the programs, which they believe are legal.

Apple is still somewhat adhering to this decision, as the DUI checkpoint app ban is quite selective.

DUI checkpoint apps currently in the App Store will remain, but USA Today reports that, in the future, Apple will only accept apps that publish locations that are released by law enforcement.

In other words, so long as the app doesn't allow users to report locations, it can be sold.

Google is obviously still free to do as it pleases, as the apps have yet to be deemed illegal. And even if they are, there's a decent argument that they are protected commercial speech under the First Amendment.

However, chances are, if forced to ban DUI checkpoint apps altogether, neither Apple nor Google would be willing to take the government to court.

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