Apple Inc., manufacturer of iPhone and iPad, officially decided to block apps that encourage drunk driving.
In an update of its App Store review guidelines on Wednesday, the tech giant explicitly banned apps that allow drivers to evade DUI (driving under the influence) checkpoints.
“Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected,” states Section 22.8 of the new guidelines.
The move came four months after four Democratic U.S. senators Harry Reid (D-Nev), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) sent a letter to an Apple, Google and R.I.M. asking them to take down the apps that show the locations of police checkpoints, red light cameras and speed traps.
RIM hustled to remove all of the DUI checkpoint apps from the BlackBerry App World store within the same week.
However, Apple and Google initially refused. Finally, Apple, who received pressure from Senator Schumer at a recent privacy hearing on Capitol Hill, decided to take down the app.
The guideline only prohibits DUI checkpoint apps. It says nothing about speed traps, which has not been a focal point of the Congressmen.
Apple has done the right thing in barring new DUI applications, but this victory will remain only half-won until the existing apps are removed from the store. This is about eliminating tools that people currently have to avoid drunk driving checkpoints, and leaving these dangerous apps online would be a major and dangerous loophole, Schumer said in a statement.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were still several DUI checkpoint apps in the App Store (right), including DUI Dodger ($2.99), MrDUI (free), and Buzzed ($0.99), PCMag.com reported.