NYPD asking Google to stop displaying drunk driving checkpoints in maps

NYPD asking Google to stop displaying drunk driving checkpoints in maps

The New York Police Department (NYPD) called on Google to remove a feature in its map application that shows where drunk driving checkpoints are throughout the city.

In a letter sent from the department to Google on Feb. 2, NYPD called for Google-owned navigation app Waze to deactivate the feature, according to NBC News.


The Waze app is different from other navigation applications in that it allows users to crowd-source locations of drunk driving checkpoints and speed cameras for others to see.

Waze, which was bought by Google in 2013, became a popular alternative to other navigation apps thanks to its community based-experience.

In the letter, Ann Prunty, NYPD’s acting deputy commissioner for legal matters, argued that “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 and other relevant criminal and traffic laws.”

The letter asked Google to cease and desist the practice of allowing users to post where sobriety checkpoints are, just a week after a new feature on Google Maps alerts drivers to the presence of speed cameras operated by police.

"Revealing the location of checkpoints puts those drivers, their passengers and the general public at risk," Prunty wrote in the letter.

Google said its speed traps are intended to allow drivers to be more mindful, but did not address a query from The Hill about the sobriety checkpoints.

"Safety is a top priority when developing navigation features at Google. 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," a spokesperson said in an email.