Twitter vs. DUI Checkpoints

By Mark Stine - email

Posted by Rebecca Lane

Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - Sobriety checkpoints tend to pop up around town when you least expect them.

But on Saturday night, some people on Twitter got a helpful heads up.

One person tweeted, "There's a DUI checkpoint on Oracle between Magee & Hardy in Oro Valley right now."

Once that tweet was put out for followers to see, others quickly followed.

Another person wrote, "There's a DUI checkpoint on Oracle between Magee & Hardy. Thanks for the info!"

"I guess in a way we're flattered that we're getting this much attention," Pima County Sheriff's Sergeant Jeff Copfer said.

The more attention for anti-drinking and driving campaigns the better according Sgt. Copfer.

"Sobriety checkpoints were never intended to be covert or hidden and spring up out of nowhere."

Copfer says the checkpoints are intended to be as much of a public service message as they are there to detect impaired drivers.

"I think it's good that people are out there and actually communicating and if it changes one persons behavior about drinking then we've achieved our goal."

The Twitter messages also provide the potential for drivers to still drive drunk, just find a different route home. But Copfer warns even if you successfully avoid the checkpoint, you aren't in the clear.

"There's many more officers out on patrol that aren't at the checkpoint that may find that impaired driver that avoids the checkpoint."

And one person re-tweeting the message actually encouraged drivers to not drink and drive. "The DUI checkpoint is on Oracle between Magee & Hardy. Be safe, & be prepared for a short wait. Don't drink & drive, common sense people!"

Copfer told KOLD, "I don't care if you twitter, if you see it on a web page, just don't drink and drive, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever."

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