Facebook, Twitter Tools to Stop DUI

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SCRANTON — Police and prosecutors in Lackawanna County announced Wednesday they plan to have more DUI checkpoints and patrols out this summer than they’ve had the last few years. But they say perhaps their most effective tool these days is the Internet.

At a news conference in Scranton, Lackawanna County Assistant District Attorney Robert Klein was anything but vague when announcing how and how many police will crack down on DUI offenders this summer.

Using every department in the County, Klein said they’ll have six to ten DUI checkpoints throughout the county on weekends this summer, along with 60 roving patrols during the week. That’s up about 15 percent from last year.

But this year, cops also say they’ll be paying close attention to the internet.

“Social media has been a wonderful thing for us. And there are several sites that will post where we are going to have our DUI checkpoints,” Klein said.

Police and prosecutors said that’s actually a good thing. While web sites like a DUI checkpoint Facebook page may take away the element of surprise, it may mean would-be DUI offenders never get behind the wheel in the first place.

The DUI CheckPoints Lackawanna County page has well over 5,000 likes. Users can report checkpoints they see, and there are posts almost daily.

“Someone may be sitting in a bar and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I just saw this posting there’s a DUI checkpoint.’ And that’s where we hope they make the right decision,” Klein added.

If that deterrent isn’t enough, prosecutors said there will be roving patrols out too that can’t be tracked on a web site.

Police chiefs said they plan on using the information on these sites just as much people who like the page.

“The information is out there, we’re not hiding it. We’re going to be out there enforcing it. If you post it out there we’ll take that information, maybe we’ll stay in the same spot, maybe we won’t,” said Dickson City Police Chief William Bilinski.

Police said expect this increase in enforcement throughout the summer.

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