Twitter has become one of the best sources for instant news over the past few years, so it’s no surprise that people are starting to use the micro-blogging site for a variety of different updates. But one of the updates Twitter users are posting has police in Ontario concerned, and that’s because users are sharing locations of R.I.D.E spot checks.
Spot checks are designed to surprise impaired drivers, and between November 20th and December 16th, the Ontario police department managed to stop more than 21,500 vehicles and arrest 149 people for impaired driving. But the police feel as though they might have been able to stop more impaired drivers if people wouldn’t tweet out their location.
Police know of at least four tweets sent out during the holidays revealing the location of the spot checks, and they’ve publicly stated that the tweeters should be ashamed for sharing the spots. Although some have said that the public has a right to know where they are in order to avoid traffic jams, the police want the public to understand that these stops are designed to keep the roads safe from people who choose to drink and drive, and they hope everyone will support that.
Whether you’re stopped at a spot check or pulled over for showing signs of impaired driving, the penalties you’ll pay in Ontario are strict and immediate. If you blow between .05 and .08 on a breathalyzer, you could receive a driver’s license suspension, have your vehicle impounded, and pay fines. If you receive an impaired driving charge because your blood alcohol level was over .08, you’ll also lose your driver’s license for a year and have to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you drive.
Everyone knows that drinking and driving is a bad idea, and you might want to keep in mind that tweeting out the locations of police spot checks is a bad idea too. By sending out that tweet you may let a drunk driver avoid a spot check, and consequently, cause a crash and claim a life.