Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Facebook DUI checkpoint page get criticism

Under state law, police are required to inform the public 24 hours in advance of setting up a checkpoint. They are, though, not required to name the specific location. Some have tried to get around this system by setting up a Facebook page informing the public of the exact location of the checkpoint.

The page, created June 11, urges users of Facebook to disclose locations for specific DUI checkpoints in Slidell, Louisiana. The page has recently been blasted by the New Orleans Police Department as irresponsible, and as putting the public at risk.

Sources said that the checkpoint page has generated a lot of buzz, with more than 7,000 people clicking that they "like" the page.

While police feel the page is irresponsible, others feel that police presence is a deterrent to drunk driving, and that letting the public know exactly where checkpoints are located only reinforces the police presence. Others say the pages only service to help individuals avoid responsibility.

The phenomenon of DWI/DUI checkpoint update pages is a growing trend across the United States. The checkpoint pages, along with checkpoint apps for smart phones, are both ways drivers have attempted to steer clear of responsibility for drinking and driving. The checkpoint apps, in particular, have been controversial, and lawmakers have-according to sources-been working on outlawing them for months now. In response, Apple and the company that manufactures the BlackBerry have discontinued their checkpoint apps. But Google has reportedly not yet taken steps to ban checkpoint apps for the Android.

Source: wdsu.com, "NOPD Calls DWI Checkpoint Facebook Page 'Irresponsible'," 16 June 2011.

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