Fox News heralded the political firestorm surrounding DUI Sobriety Check Point smartphone apps. Fox has missed the point. If you have to have a roadblock to find “drunk drivers” maybe they aren’t drunk in the first place. Additionally, Roadblocks are fine for Apartheid-era South Africa, the Occupied West Bank, and North Korea but not for a country with a Constitution and the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures and not for Georgia at least while I still have a pen and law license. Maybe the free market has its solution to injustice in the form of entrepreneurs creating these apps. Fox News stands against both the U.S. Constitution and the free market. Big government is never big enough when it comes to the police state? The Cato Institute did a study showing that lowering the legal limit for DUI from 0.10 to 0.08 increased drunk driving deaths? That is because police are so busy arresting sober people which takes 2 plus hours per arrest that drunk people are driving by and killing people. When do a new technology’s dangers outweigh its benefits or since when did the free dissemination of information become a bad thing?
As Benjamin Franklin said, he who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither. Several apps are for sale at the Apple App store: Buzzed for 99 cents, Checkpointer for $4.99, and Tipsy, a free app. The Android Market has Checkpoint Wingman for $1.99 and Mr. DUI, a free program. Smartphone developer Research In Motion, the maker of Blackberry handsets pulled PhantomAlert from the shelf.
Four U.S. senators sent a letter asking Blackberry, Google, and Apple to remove any apps that identify the location of police DUI checkpoints.
What would Guy Fawkes say? “But in the spirit of commemoration, whereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used instead of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There was a myriad of problems that conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic, you turned to the State and its politicians. They promised you to order, They promised you peace, and all they demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. He hoped to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgotten.”