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Police Fear Social Media Will Help Keep Drunk Drivers on the Road

Police Fear Social Media Will Help Keep Drunk Drivers on the Road

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USA Today via YellowBrix

January 01, 2010

Police around the country will be setting up the usual sobriety checkpoints tonight, but this year there’s a new factor in play to outfox them: Twitter.

In Fresno, Calif., police say they know their checkpoints are being avoided by young drivers sending tweets. Sgt. Dave Gibeault, head of the traffic unit, tells McClatchy Newspapers his own daughter has sent him text messages about where she’s heard there is a checkpoint.

Motor Officers

Gibeault supports getting out the word about checkpoints in general, but not specific location information that might help evaders and let people drive drunk.

Police in Phoenix agree, KPHO-TV reports on its website. It’s not just Twitter, but Facebook and iPhone apps as well.

“We go out of our way to tell people when we’re doing enforcement efforts,” said Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department.

But Thompson said law enforcement officials worry the extra distractions are putting other motorists at risk. “Behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and a young person doing it — it’s a recipe for diaster,” Thompson said.

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