Twitter chatter tips off Check Stop locations
Published Monday, December 17, 2012 4:37PM MST
Last Updated Monday, December 17, 2012 6:23PM MST
Some users of Twitter and other social media sites are posting the locations of Check Stops and that has become a bit of a frustration for law enforcement as they try to battle drinking and driving.
Social media sites are packed with people sharing information and more and more often, they are sharing the location of Check Stops.
Several twitter accounts are dedicated to letting others know where police have set up.
A few do warn people not to drink and drive but some people worry that giving people the heads up will help those who have had too much to drink avoid getting caught.
"I don't think it's a good idea. I think they should surprise people. If they're drinking they deserve to get caught," said one Calgarian.
It is not illegal to tweet the locations but the practice does not seem to being going over well in the court of public opinion.
“You’re just enhancing the risk. It’s a huge risk here so to be part of that, people have to ask themselves, is that responsible, is that socially responsible?” said CPS S/Sgt. Mike Watterson.
On the weekend, an Edmonton bar was in hot water after a former employee tweeted out one of the Check Stop locations from the company account.
The tweet brought a heap of criticism down on The Treasury Vodka Bar and experts say companies need to be responsible for what they say on social media and have guidelines in place for use.
“We've worked with very large organizations where multiple people have access to the singular account. That’s not the issue. The issue is when someone transitions out of your business then you need to take security precautions and change access immediately,” said Walter Schwabe of FusedLogic.
Police say they have no recourse to stop the tweets but say they believe it is socially irresponsible.
They like that people are sharing the “Don’t Drink and Drive” message but they are concerned that giving the exact location will help people who are impaired to skirt the law.
“These individuals really need to understand and look in the mirror a little bit and what if one of your family members gets hurt by an impaired driver going around a Check Stop through your community? Is that responsible or responsible on your part?” said Watterson.
Police are encouraging the public to ensure they have a safe ride home if they are out celebrating and say the Check Stop blitz will continue day and night over the holidays.