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Twitter warns of DUI checkpoints

When a Texas prosecutor decided to use Twitter to announce suspected DUI arrests in his jurisdiction, he could have foreseen the opposite affects Twitter could have on the effectiveness of DUI checkpoints.

This holiday season, checkpoints nationwide posted slightly lower numbers than last year. This statistic comes despite some estimates that drinking and driving was actually up due to economic fallout. The reason? More people are warned of the presence of checkpoint through access to Twitter on smart phones.

Young drivers, often the most likely to be dangerous on the road, are the ones making fastest use of the technology to avoid arrest. Text messages and even on iPhone application designed to point out checkpoints aid in avoiding arrest.

On the one hand, some officers say there is nothing wrong with getting the word out about checkpoints. Officers feel the psychological affect of announcing checkpoints can be to dissuade drivers from taking risks. On the other hand, officers need to pay for the checkpoints by at least issuing traffic tickets if not arresting people for DUI. With less people going through the checkpoint, there are fewer tickets, not just fewer arrests.

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