Facebook reveals breath test sites

By Anita Moran

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

Police are threatening to post phoney messages about fictitious breath testing check points on Facebook pages set up to help drunk drivers avoid being caught.

The pages reveal locations of local police drink driving checkpoints.

But police say residents visiting the pages could be given false information - maybe by police themselves.

The pages, which were called Rotorua Police Stop Locations and BOP Police Stop Locations, had run only for a short time before being shut down over the weekend. The Rotorua-based page gained more than 300 likes and the Bay of Plenty page had more than 1000.

Posts by the creators stated the pages were designed to inform people of drink driving checkpoints and also speed camera locations.

Inspector Ed Van Den Broek of the Rotorua police said the Facebook pages were hugely disappointing given the police focus on protecting innocent motorists from drink drivers..

"Unfortunately, despite all the advertising, crashes and apprehensions, drink driving is still a major problem in the Rotorua area, just as it is across New Zealand.

In fact the Bay of Plenty has the second highest number of drink driving apprehensions in New Zealand which is not a record that we should be proud of," he said. "The challenge for our community is to work together alongside police to reduce this problem."

"It is therefore disappointing that there are some people in our community that will advertise locations of alcohol checkpoints in order for people to avoid apprehension."

Mr Van Den Broek said he wondered if those who were posting on those pages knew police were trying to protect their friends and family.

"The police will monitor this website and may post fictitious locations of alcohol checkpoints to raise the paranoia for people stupid enough to drink and drive."

Before the pages were shut down people had also posted on the pages disagreeing with what people were aiming to do.

- APNZ

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