Waze is a popular app and alternative to the usual GPS-enabled mapping software used on smartphones. What makes Waze different is that it is a social GPS app that lets users report things like traffic jams, accidents, detours, construction – and police officers.
Waze’s ability to geotag police locations can help drivers avoid police speed traps, for example, or even DUI checkpoints. Waze even encourages frequent updates and incentivizes users with awards of points. Waze is not the only app that lets drivers interact in this way, but it is one of the largest and thus the reports are more likely to be updated and accurate.
While knowledge is power, and being able to plot your route to avoid DUI checkpoints could help prevent you from ever getting a DUI in the first place, there are a few problems with this approach. Long story short, don’t rely on Waze to prevent your DUI – the app is only as smart and attentive as the users.
Firstly, just because someone posts on Waze that there are police up ahead does not necessarily mean it is true. Remember, anyone can make a post on Waze – and actually, police use it too. A Miami news report from early last year described police posting false location data on the app to deceive Waze users. Their goals are to discourage the use of the police locator, naturally, since it only serves to make their jobs more difficult.
Beyond the possibilities of data inaccuracy, you also have to worry about distracted driving. It is just plain unsafe to have your phone in your hand posting on Waze while driving, especially if you are intoxicated.
And third, there are safer options than plotting your route around cops on Waze. You’re already on your phone – Uber and the cab companies are only a phone call away.
Often, DUI checkpoints violate your rights – speak to a Denver DUI attorney immediately if you’ve been charged with drunk driving at a DUI checkpoint.