Drunk Drivers using Social Media, Texting to avoid Checkpoints

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is putting extra pressure on drunk drivers this summer, and social media is not helping them.

“What we’ve done is use the ‘fear of where we’re going to be’ to keep you from drinking and driving,” Lance Corporal Billy Elder with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The Lance Corporal says he’s seen an increase in people warning friends the location of a current DUI check point.

“If you’re texting someone to tell them ‘Hey there’s a DUI check point up here’ for the purpose of them trying to avoid – and [they still drive] under the influence, the person ought to know that’s wrong,” said Elder.

To fight back against “texters” and people who are using social media to warn friends, troopers try to stay one step ahead by setting up several check points along I-77 and side roads.

“We’re branching out to have people guessing where we’ll be next,” said Elder.

As a result, if a drunk driver is tipped off and tries to avoid the DUI checkpoint, that driver could get a surprise elsewhere.

Elder says they’ve had 17 fatal crashes in York County this year; half of those were from drunk drivers.

“If you are allowing someone to make it around a DUI check point, then did you contribute to that wreck? I say you did,” Elder says about people who warn drunk drivers.

South Carolina troopers made 24,000 DUI arrests in 2010 – a sobering figure. That would be the average of 65 arrests a day or 2.5 arrests per hour.

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About Pete Strom

Defending criminal charges including drug crimes, DUI, CDV, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, computer crimes, money laundering, and juvenile crimes, Pete also handles Federal and State investigations. Representing individuals in Civil Matters including Class Actions, Personal Injury, Qui Tam Actions, Defective Products, Nursing Home Neglect, and Professional Licensing Defense cases. Joseph Preston “Pete” Strom, Jr., the managing partner at Strom Law Firm, L.L.C., has been fighting for justice since 1984.

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