US lawmakers pull the plug on drink driving apps

Drunk drivers face sobering news as the US cracks down on apps from a range of providers that help winos evade police checkpoints when they have been under the influence.

Lawmakers in the US are taking double measures to put a stop to newly launched software which operates from smartphone makers including Google, RIM and Apple.

“Drunk drivers should not have tools to evade law enforcement and endanger our friends and families,” four senators said in a letter to these companies.

They are taking shots at the third party apps, which for the price of a pint of IPA at a Wetherspoon’s give drivers lists of traffic points and driver-generated databases of speed traps, speed cameras, or even drunk driving checkpoints, to help drunken drivers avoid police.

One app that has come under fire is PhantomAlert,which advertises its product online by telling buyers: “You will be alerted as you approach: Railroad Crossings, Dangerous Intersections, Dangerous Curves, Speed Bumps, Speed Traps, Speed Cameras, Red Light Cameras, School Zones, DUI Checkpoints.”

While driving around in a speed-striped Micra with a half-finished White Ace balanced on the wheel is common practice in Romford, messheads in the States are all out of luck. The senators, who include majority leader Harry Reid and fellow democrats Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg and Tom Udall, are already getting their way as RIM is making moves to put the apps under the table.

“We appreciate RIM’s immediate reply and urge the other smartphone makers to quickly follow suit,” the senators added in a statement.