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Social media used to warn of DUI checkpoints?

Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Snapchat: the list of popular social media goes on and on. Because social media is virtually omnipresent in the lives of so many people in the Denver area, it’s perhaps not surprising that police say it’s being used to warn drivers to avoid DUI checkpoints.

Aurora police conducted a DUI checkpoint during the recent Memorial Day weekend, but wound up arresting only four people. “We get the distinct feelings that social media is advertising our whereabouts as soon as we set up,” an Aurora police lieutenant recently said. 

He added that it’s “OK” with the department if people warn others of the checkpoints because it helps to spread the word that law enforcement is actively looking for drivers who have had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel.

While the checkpoint was in operation at South Chambers Road near East Jewell Avenue, a total of 747 vehicles passed through. Though seven motorists were suspected of drunk driving, only four were arrested following roadside sobriety tests.

One of the four was charged with DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) after people suspected that he was high on marijuana.

Interestingly, this was the Aurora police department’s first checkpoint conducted since January, when legal marijuana sales began.

The police officer said that based on anecdotal evidence, he expects future checkpoints to produce more DUID arrests.

He said the city plans four more checkpoints over the summer months.

Last year, nearly 2,400 were arrested in Colorado for DUI or DWAI, the Colorado Department of Transportation said.

Over the recent holiday weekend, there were 130 charged with driving under the influence.

Each of them should discuss their legal options with an attorney before deciding how to plead. 

Source: Aurora Sentinel, "Roadblock was the first since retail marijuana became legal in January," Brandon Johansson, May 30, 2014

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