Tweeting RIDE check locations 'irresponsible'

Police across the country are coming across an unusual problem when it comes to cracking down on drinking and driving. Some people are posting RIDE locations on social media websites, including Twitter and Facebook.

Sudbury Police Chief doesn't want 'drunks' avoiding police RIDE check points

Police across the country are coming across an unusual problem when it comes to cracking down on drinking and driving.

Some people are posting RIDE locations on social media websites, including Twitter and Facebook.

RIDE is an acronym for Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere. The program involves setting up random spot checks to detect if people are driving impaired — usually under the influence of alcohol.

Like speed traps, police rely on a certain element of surprise when setting up these check points.

"People in other jurisdictions [are] tweeting the location of RIDE locations so that drunks can actually get by the police," said Greater Sudbury Police Chief Frank Elsner.

Criminal and civil 'implications'

He said he's unsure if this is happening in Sudbury, but he has a warning for anyone thinking about posting information like that online:

"As an example, if we could prove that somebody was drunk and got around a RIDE due to a tweet — and then got into an accident — I could see criminal and civil implications."

Elsner said he'd like people to think twice before posting this kind of information.

Despite the possible legal implications, Elsner says the practice is just in bad taste.

"Drunk driving is a criminal offence," he said. "It's the No. 1 criminal cause of death in our country. And to help somebody facilitate that kind of offence is absolutely irresponsible."

Police in London, Toronto and Calgary said they're dealing with information all over Twitter about their RIDE checkpoints.

However, like flashing a car’s headlights to warn of the presence of police, the practice isn't illegal.