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Sonnett Devermont, creator of mrcheckpoint.com says his service, which alerts drivers of DUI checkpoints through tweets and text messages, actually curbs drunk driving by making inebriated motorists think twice before getting behind the wheel. Angelenos are torn over how ethical the service is, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) agree with Devermont s claim that it s helping more than hurting. John Cadiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 25, 2012.
Police will be out in force Memorial Day weekend looking for drunk drivers, creating an equally busy weekend for Sonnett Devermont, creator of mrcheckpoint.com.
“We have people all over the state telling us where these checkpoints are, sending us pictures,” said Devermont, whose Twitter feed, text alerts and website alert motorists to DUI checkpoints.
Devermont, who comes from a family of attorneys, said he started the site after being questioned at a DUI checkpoint last year.
“I know my rights and I told the officer I didn’t want to answer any questions,” he said. “After blowing a 0.00 twice, they did let me go.”
The service has more than 20,000 followers, but is it ethical?
“A DUI checkpoint is out in the public and a website is a place that’s posted publicly,” said Scott Lyles, North Hollywood resident.
Others, like Levi Damione, of Studio City, don’t fully agree with the service’s celebration of openness.
“Kinda mixed feelings about it cause it allows people to drink and drive and get around the checkpoints,” Damione said. “The flip side is the people who don’t want to get involved in the traffic.”
Signing up for the site and getting text alerts means signing a contract, Devermont said.
“We make every subscriber do a pledge: I will not drink and drive,” he said.
Devermont said he’s found that alerting drivers to DUI checkpoints works to curb drunk driving.
Advocacy group MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is on board with the idea, which they say makes inebriated motorists think twice before getting behind the wheel.