OK County Sheriff's Office 'Live-Tweets' From DUI Checkpoint

Monday, April 22nd 2013, 5:45 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Social media is playing a new role in law enforcement. From the capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect, to this weekend the Oklahoma County Sheriff's office live tweeted from a DUI checkpoint.

Sheriff's deputies arrested seven people at the checkpoint on North McArthur on Saturday night, and if you were one of the thousands who were following along on Twitter, you probably know what they did and a little bit what they look like.

From the pre-checkpoint briefing, to the first arrest: a guy who was wanted on a burglary, to the countless cars that got towed because their drivers didn't have a license, Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office Public Information Director Mark Myers was sending every step to the "Twitterverse."

"When it comes to checkpoints a lot of people have a lot of questions about it, so I just felt like it would give us an opportunity to show people exactly what a checkpoint is and what we do," Myers said.

Turns out it was extremely popular.

"I was amazed there was that much interest," Myers said.

#okduicheckpoint was the top trending topic in Oklahoma City and the department gained 2000 followers during the event.

All were watching as Myers posted about a guy getting arrested for a blood alcohol level that was almost three times the legal limit, and the guy who tried to do a U-turn when he saw the checkpoint up ahead.

"(He) actually initially pulled over when the deputy stopped him, then he took off on foot," explained Myers. "So the deputy had to tase that individual to get him into custody."

But Myers says the information wasn't just to satisfy our curiosity but also allowed the office to interact and answer questions from followers. And hopefully, it will serve as a deterrent for anyone thinking about drinking and driving.

"We want to get that message out there, that we're out here, please don't drink and drive,"Myers said.

Myers says because of the success of the tweets they will probably do it again in the future. Of those seven arrests, five were for DUI's.

Myers says the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office has the second most Twitter followers in the country, behind the LA County Sheriff's office.