NYPD orders Google to stop Waze from revealing DWI checkpoint locations

Clay Curtis
February 9, 2019

She added that people sharing the locations of sobriety checkpoints on Waze might be breaking the law by trying "to prevent and/or impair the administration" of the state's DWI laws and that the department planned to "pursue all legal remedies" to stop people from sharing "this irresponsible and unsafe information".

The NYPD has sent a letter to Google demanding the removal of DWI checkpoint information on its Waze app.

"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", says the letter.

This isn't the first time that police have tried to get Google to muzzle Waze: In 2015, United States police asked Google to pull the plug on citizens using the mobile app to "stalk" police locations, regardless of whether they're on their lunch break, assisting with a broken-down vehicle on the highway, or hiding in wait to nab speeders.

StreetsBlog speculated the cease-and-desist letter may also pertain to Waze's brand new "speed cam" function that lets drivers notify others about the locations of speed and red light cameras. "Safety is a top priority when developing navigation features at Google", the company said in a statement, according to WPIX. Google purchased Waze in 2013.

Waze does not allow drivers to specifically identify sobriety checkpoints.

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The New York Police Department wants the navigation app Waze to stop warning drivers about sobriety checkpoints.

Before cellphones and traffic apps, the practice of flashing headlights to warn other drivers about "speed traps" was popular.

The app shows potential riders along the way - and it provides contact information for the driver.

More directly, the company says that safety is its biggest concern when new features are being developed and tested and that informing drivers about "speed traps" helps drivers make safer decisions.

"The NYPD will pursue all legal remedies to prevent the continued posting of this irresponsible and unsafe information", the letter reads. People can easily tell others if they can expect a speed trap or a DUI/DWI roadblock. Former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck complained in December 2014 that Waze could be "misused by those with criminal intent to endanger police officers and the community".

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