Thursday, August 9, 2012

USC Twitter feed keeps students from drinking and driving

On behalf of Taylor Law Firm, LLC posted in Drunk Driving Charges on Monday, April 9, 2012

Students at USC's Columbia campus have their own early police warning system in their pockets. A new Twitter feed called DrinkingTicket provides the times and locations of DUI checkpoints, identifies undercover cops, and warnings of speed traps to nearly 9,000 Twitter followers.

The idea for the account was developed and founded by a USC student after he received a ticket for possessing alcohol as a minor. He was worried about having a criminal record, losing his scholarship and jeopardizing his college career and future. He now helps his fellow students avoid drunk driving charges by monitoring his twitter account. The account is secure and followers must be approved.

Eventually, he hopes to create an iPhone application and include additional features such as finding a sober cab ride home and free legal advice. Instead of empowering students to feel like they can beat the system, DrinkingTicket supporters say it actually encourages students to find a safe way home, catch a cab or not drive at all. They say kids are going to consume alcoholic beverages, so they might was well do it safely and without getting caught. Critics, however, say that DrinkingTicket lets young people have their cake and eat it, too.

But under South Carolina's zero tolerance law for drinking and driving for minors, helping minors and young drinkers find a safe way home certainly seems reasonable. Any driver under the age of 21 who has had any alcohol whatsoever and gets behind the wheel of a car will be charged with a DUI. Even a blood-alcohol content of a mere 0.02 percent will get your license suspended for at least six months.

In recent years, South Carolina's state legislature has debated bills that would lower the drinking age from 21 to 18.

Source: WISTV, "Frustrated student creates twitter feed to aid in responsible drinking," Taylor Kearns, April 6, 2012

Tags: DUI checkpoints, DWI charge, drunk driving, police, underage drinking

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