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DUI Checkpoint Leaks Spark Controversy in Calif.

 BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- On almost any given weekend, there is at least one DUI checkpoint set up around the county. The goal of these checkpoints is to reduce the number of people hurt or killed by impaired drivers, according to the Bakersfield Police Department.

"We are not doing this to be cumbersome, or Gestapo," said Lt. Randy Robison. "The bottom line is statistics are drunk driving takes an inordinate amount of lives compared to part one crimes."

Law enforcement keep the location of checkpoints under wraps, but with the surge of social media, the location often get leaked as soon as the checkpoint is set up.

The Facebook page Bakersfield Checkpoints is set up for this purpose. The page claims it is run by the community. On it, the community can post checkpoint locations, experiences going through checkpoints and comments.

Some of the comments are disturbing. One person wrote,"Don't drink and drive, sip n cruise."

Another comment was,"If you drink and drive please don't spill."

Then there are comments from the more responsible-minded, such as, "Don't drink and drive and you won't have to avoid them."

Despite comments posted on this page, most people may be surprised about where the BPD stands on checkpoint notification sites.

"When we have individuals post our checkpoint location on a website or Facebook app or they just communicate it to one another, there's nothing we can do about that, and quite frankly, it really is to our benefit," said Lt. Robison. "It does really expand our scope. They're basically telling their friends there is a checkpoint over here and hopefully their friends or whoever are thinking, 'Wow, I better be careful if I'm going to drink, I'm going to need someone to drive for me.'''

23ABC sent a private message to the Facebook page for comment. The person running the page told 23ABC they would rather remain anonymous and did not feel comfortable commenting to the media at this time.

Michael Benge is not a supporter of such sites. He lost his wife Jada, to a drunk driver.

"You put these warnings our there so a guy who is pretty buzzed and sees the thing on his smartphone and goes, 'I'm going to go around that,' said Benge. "And maybe I'm going for ice cream around the corner and I'm hit head-on and my kids have nobody."

On Memorial Day weekend in 2004, Benge and his family were driving home early from Lake San Antonio.

"When we got about a quarter mile out of the park we were hit head-on by a 17-year-old drunk driver for whom this was her second offense," he said. "It killed her passenger and killed my wife instantly."

Benge is now a self-proclaimed DUI warrior. He is sharing his story in hopes of preventing other tragedies on the road.

But Benge said checkpoint notification sites and the people who use them are proving to be an uphill battle.

"I really think until they walk in my shoes they are not going to get it," said Benge. "And some people just like to be argumentative for the sake of it. Some people like drama. Well, I have drama I would not like to have lived the last eight years."

To find out more about Jada's law and Benge's push to prevent DUI-related crashes, visit his Web site:http://

DUI Checkpoint Alerts

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