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NYPD demands that Google's Waze app stop revealing DWI checkpoints

Key Points
  • New York's police department is demanding that Google remove all DWI checkpoint information from Waze.
  • It says the navigation app helps impaired and intoxicated drivers evade checkpoints.
  • Waze, which is owned by Google, lets drivers alert other drivers to obstacles, speed traps, road closures, traffic and DWI checkpoints.
Heavily armed NYPD counterterrorism officers stand at post near the entrance to the restricted zone between 42nd and 43rd Streets. (file photo).
Albin Lohr-Jones | Pacific Press | LightRocket | Getty Images

The City of New York Police Department recently sent a letter to Google demanding that its navigation app Waze stop showing drivers where the city's DWI checkpoints are located.

Waze is popular among motorists because it lets drivers alert one another about obstacles, traffic, speed traps and more. While this can be great for learning about road closures and other useful information, it often thwarts the law's ability to catch speeders, or, as the NYPD says, drunk drivers.

"We demand that Google LLC, upon receipt of this letter, immediately remove this function from the Waze application," acting deputy commissioner of NYPD legal matters Ann Prunty said in her letter to Google. "Further, the NYPD requests that Google take every necessary precaution to ensure that GPS data of NYPD DWI checkpoints, or any other substantially similar data, is not uploaded or posted at a future time on the Waze Mobile application, google.com, Google maps, or any other associated internet/websites, or web portals and platforms under Google LLC's, its partners' sponsors' or affiliates' control."

Prunty said sharing DWI checkpoint information is "irresponsible" and "serves to aid impaired and intoxicated drivers to evade checkpoints and encourage reckless driving."

When reached for comment, Google did not address this feature specifically, but said "We believe that informing drivers about upcoming speed traps allows them to be more careful and make safer decisions when they're on the road."

Read the full letter on Streets Blog NYC.

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