Sep 172010
 

Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are disrupting a common law enforcement technique against drunk driving, the sobriety checkpoint, authorities said Friday.

One such checkpoint at the intersection of Oak and Leake streets last Friday night netted eight DWI arrests, with 31 citations and 73 sobriety tests administered, said traffic division Lt. Melvin Howard at the New Orleans Police Department’s weekly departmental meeting Friday.

But a number of Friday night drivers had prior notice of the checkpoint — presumably enabling some to avoid it — via posts on Facebook, Howard told the rest of the department. Drivers were sending updates to their friends as they passed through, and word spread quickly while many were still at the bars.

“We’re also battling social media,” Howard said. “Just as we’re tracking DWI’s and bad motorists, they’re also tracking us.”

Nearly 500 vehicles passed through, and a third of them were checked, Howard said.

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