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Police combat apps that warn of DUI checkpoints

Thursday - 3/24/2011, 10:41am  ET

(WTOP Photo/Paul D. Shinkman)

WASHINGTON -- It may not be illegal for drivers to use smartphone apps that warn them of roadside DUI checkpoints, but police in the WTOP listening may have another resource that could still stop them.

Police in D.C., Maryland and Virginia say the only reason drivers would use a GPS app like this would be to drive under the influence. Using the app might not be enough to get pulled over, but handling the hardware could.

D.C. law prohibits distracted driving by "tightly restricting the use of mobile telephones or other electronic devices while driving." There are similar laws in Maryland and Virginia that punish drivers who don't pay full attention to the road.

It would be hard to pull over a driver just for using GPS, says Montgomery County Police spokesperson Officer Paul Starks, as an officer would have to articulate that the driver was distracted.

WTOP's Adam Tuss contributed to this report. Follow Adam and WTOP on Twitter.

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