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Police: Twitter Checkpoint Alerts Are A-OK

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BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) — Law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County are teaming up to crack down on drunk driving during the holiday season. The “Avoid 100” safety campaign has police setting up checkpoints all over LA during the last two weeks of December.

Over the past week, LA has seen more than 1,000 DUI arrests. That number represents an 11 percent increase over last year.

“We’re not out here to arrest drunk drivers,” says Lt. Shan Davis of the Beverly Hills Police Department. “Our purpose is to promote public safety.”

In 2009, California’s DUI fatalities represented more than one third of the nation’s total. “It is a local problem for us,” says Davis. “That’s why we’re out here.”

Many drivers have turned to social networking applications to help avoid the DUI checkpoints. One twitter account that lists the checkpoint locations boasts over 10,000 followers.

Some feel publicizing that information simply enables motorists to drink and drive.

“I guess it gives people permission to drink and drive and avoid the checkpoints,” says Brett Alberson of West Hollywood. “That’s not such a good idea.”

But Lt. Davis begs to differ.

“Here’s a twitter application that tells people we’re out here,” says Davis. “This is publicity. This is a very good thing.”

The “Avoid 100” maximum enforcement period started Friday, and continues through Monday. The program will run through Dec. 31.

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