Police struggle to keep DWI checkpoints secret

Posted at: 01/01/2013 5:12 PM
Updated at: 01/01/2013 6:12 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Year's Eve is always a busy night for law enforcement across the state.  One tool they use to catch drunk drivers is the sobriety checkpoint. But some drunk drivers are using a tool of their own to avoid the checkpoints.

Albuquerque Police said one of their biggest challenges these days is a smartphone.  Between social media, texting, and phone applications, they all alert drunk drivers where to avoid police.

Nearly 30 people were booked into the Bernalillo County jail on New Year's Day, suspected of drinking and driving.  Albuquerque Police said 13 of those suspects were taken in at their checkpoint on New Year's Eve.  KOB Eyewitness News 4 wanted to know how those numbers compare to last year.

"Not a significant drop, but we are noticing that in regards to the checkpoints that we do run, and have run in the past, years past we used to get 25 or 30, but times have changed," APD Officer Robert Gibbs said.

Sadly, Officer Gibbs is not referring to people wising up and playing it safe.  He is talking about technology and how drunk drivers are using it to avoid getting caught.

"People talk on cell phones.  If we're near any liquor establishments, a lot of times those liquor establishments will announce to their patrons where the road block is at and to avoid the area," Officer Gibbs said.  "There's applications that you can use on your Android phone or iPhone that will alert you to where a road block will be."

There is also social media, with people posting all over Facebook and Twitter where there is a checkpoint.  It is frustrating for law enforcement, but Officer Gibbs said they can't hide forever.

"They're going to get caught.  It's just a matter of time," Officer Gibbs said.

There were no major accidents reported on New Year's Eve.