Text service helping UK drink-drivers dodge police checkpoints: Charity

January 1st, 2009 - 6:18 pm ICT by ANI  

London, January 1 (ANI): A road safety charity called Brake has urged the police in UK to investigate whether a text service was helping drivers dodge checkpoints.
The charity feels that Etri Mobile Services helps drink-drivers to evade detection by texting them with locations of police breathalyser checkpoints, and is thus putting lives at risk on the roads.
The service is said to use tip-offs from drivers, information from police websites, and other undisclosed sources to plot where testing is being carried out.
Its subscribers receive details of all roads in their counties where they stand a higher risk of being stopped.
Drivers who send in information about police checkpoints are rewarded with three weeks free subscription.
Helping drink drivers evade detection is, in our view, perverting the course of justice and we are writing to Acpo. This so-called service will raise the risk of being killed by a drunken driver who has used the intelligence to carry on drinking, Times Online quoted Mary Williams, Brakes chief executive, as saying.
Vincent Parisis, chief executive of Etri, admitted that some drivers were misusing the service to drink and drive, knowing that they could choose a route home with a lower risk of being caught.
He, however, insisted that the company was not operating irresponsibly because they included in each of their messages the number of a local taxi company, and advised against drinking and driving.
Of course, we will always have the risk that the service will be misused by people looking for an alternative route. On the other hand those people are already a danger, Times Online quoted him as saying.
The service, already used by 150,000 drivers in France and Belgium, began operating in Britain last month. (ANI)

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