As they prepare for one of the busiest party nights of the year, Calgary Police are cautioning that those who tweet the location of checkstops could be putting lives at risk by helping impaired drivers circumvent the law.

Police say they will be out in “full force” on New Year’s Eve, looking to crack down on impaired drivers, and while tweeting checkstop locations isn’t illegal, it’s not making the roads any safer.

“If you are facilitating or helping that impaired driver go around the checkstop, you have no idea what community that person is now going to drive through,” said traffic unit Insp. Michael Watterston. “By you giving the location, they’re going to avoid detection and apprehension, and we all know full well that impaired drivers don’t pick and choose who their victims are going to be.”

Last year in Alberta, 78 people died in alchohol-related collisions and 1,268 were injured, according to Alberta Transportation. Tweeting checkstop locations isn’t exclusive to Calgary. Both Ottawa and Edmonton police have expressed similar frustration with the practice.

In Calgary, there’s one account entirely dedicated to listing and retweeting the locations. That account’s description says it’s meant for the “0.049ers,” or those who are just barely under the legal limit of 0.05 blood alcohol concentration.

“If you’re so concerned about where a checkstop is that you’re looking online to see where it is, it’s probably a good sign that you probably shouldn’t be driving already,” said digital communications officer Const. Jared Euverman. “I don’t buy into whole (idea) that it’s for people who want to avoid traffic on the way home.”

Euverman added that the information on Twitter is likely to be inaccurate, given that police are constantly changing the locations of their checkstops.

Like the police, many Twitter users are against tweeting checkstop locations. 

Source: Calgary Herald


Last updated on: 2014-01-01 | Link to this post