The Twitter revolution has everyone buzzed, but those who are buzzed by way of alcohol are using the social networking device for means other than just updating contacts about their day.
Now, the twitterverse is alerting contacts of drunk-driving checkpoints.
Over the 2009-2010 New Year’s weekend law enforcement was out in full effect with DUI check points, and Tweeters set up an account to alert drivers who were intoxicated about the locations of these checkpoints. The questions then becomes is Twitter helping to scare drivers into remaining sober or giving drunk-drivers an exit route for being caught by authorities?
As a San Diego firm composed of car accident lawyers, our official stance is that anything that helps drunk-drivers get away with their actions is not a good thing. When alcohol is in the blood system of a driver behind the wheel, then the chances for DUI accidents and personal injuries increase significantly. Too much pain and suffering has come as a result of drug and alcohol use by drivers and try as we might to educate the public, people still continue this dangerous practice.
Yet most of the DUI Twitter followers claim that what they are doing is scaring people from even thinking twice about getting in the car drunk and driving somewhere. Several other websites have used this explanation as well, saying that the more you know the less you’ll go out as an inebriated motorist. Is that really what’s happening or are people getting away with committing a crime, a crime that causes wrongful death to innocent people on the road?
Law enforcement officials are not as upset about the DUI checkpoint Twittering as you might imagine. In an interview with LAist over the holiday weekend, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck said the he didn’t mind the publicizing of sobriety check points via Twitter or any other site, stating that ”people having foresight aren’t the ones who are committing this crime. People who are thinking ahead aren’t the ones that this checkpoint is likely to catch. I think that the publicity surrounding these things is so important that if you give a couple of locations, that’s fine.”
The difference is that when the LAPD and other police departments announce DUI checkpoints to the public, they are spreading the word that the streets are going to be covered by the law and you should be careful. The Twitter account, however, gives specific locations that can give foresight to drunk-drivers and an escape from authorities. While our San Diego car accident lawyers are all about spreading the knowledge of how to prevent DUI accidents, we are not willing to support something that helps drunk-drivers evade capture. After all, if they are not caught by police, how will they learn their lesson about not doing it again?
What are your feelings on this piece? Do you think that Twitter helps drunk-drivers get away with their crimes or do you think it helps everyone by frightening people into not drinking and driving?
If you or a loved one have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, then we urge you to contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible at 1-800-655-6585 or please click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you owe us nothing until we recover money on your behalf.
You can also follow Serious Accidents on Twitter — just don’t expect us to give you a heads up on DUI checkpoints.