A driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoint is one of the main ways police stop drunk drivers, and no matter where you go in the United States, you could encounter a DUI checkpoint anywhere you drive.
Normally at DUI checkpoints, the police require you to slow down then pull over, and once you do they’ll ask you for your driver’s license and registration and assess whether or not you are impaired. If they suspect you are, they will require you to blow into a breathalyzer to assess your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Although DUI checkpoints have been used to fight against drinking and driving for years, police have recently struggled with how to address people on social media leaking information about where checkpoints are located. By posting an update on Twitter or Facebook, police feel that people are helping potential drunk drivers avoid a checkpoint.
But social media was responsible for a very successful checkpoint in Oklahoma recently, and it put one driver in hot water for more than just driving under the influence. Edward Sofsky, a 23-year old, was driving a red SUV when he was pulled over by police to stop at a checkpoint. He failed to provide his driver’s license and insurance, and when the deputies ran the plate on the vehicle, they discovered it had been reported stolen.
The incredible twist to this story came when a woman saw the photo of Sofsky’s arrest beside the vehicle on Facebook and contacted the police through social media to let them know that the stolen vehicle was hers.
She has since recovered her vehicle, but Sofsky’s facing multiple charges including driving under the influence of drugs, possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, and operating a vehicle with a suspended license. In Oklahoma, that means if he ever drivers again, he’ll be doing so with an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle.
Clearly there’s both good and bad to sharing information about DUI checkpoints on social media, but at least this situation turned out well for the police who apprehended an intoxicated driver and the person who had their vehicle stolen.