Mr. Checkpoint Launches Campaign to Fund New DUI App

Rafael Augusto | @ancient_scrolls

The famous Mr. Checkpoint service was originally created by Sennet Devermont to report the exact location of DUI Checkpoints located in California and later on expanded to report about other types of law enforcement roadblocks such as license and immigration checkpoints. The service is now planning on taking his service to the next level by making a nationwide checkpoint reporting service with a brand-new app for Android and IOS. In order to do so, he must raise $20,000 through his GoFundMe Campaign in order to finish the development of his app.

Who is Mr. Checkpoint?

After being pulled over by police officers and politely declining to do a sobriety test, Sennet Devermont, aka Mr. Checkpoint, experienced the humiliation of being a victim of a false DUI arrest. Sensing he wouldn’t be treated fairly, Devermont audio recorded his entire interaction with the police officers on his smartphone. Not only was he handcuffed and forced to submit a blood test to a local ER that night, but he also spent an entire night in jail. Further humiliation ensued when his car was impounded and his dogs were put in a pound. In the end, even though he was sober and unjustly arrested he had to pay to get his car and dogs back.

Fortunately, thanks to his audio and blood test the city of Santa Monica settled Devermont’s lawsuit for his wrongful arrest and gave him $70,000. According to him, that was when he came up with the idea of launching a service to alert other drivers of DUI checkpoints and educate them about their legal rights and how they should proceed if they get treated unfairly by law enforcement.

What is the Mr. Checkpoint Movement?

According to his GoFundme campaign: “Mrcheckpoint is a movement that has been a force of good, creating safer communities since 2011 by sharing knowledge and being an advocate for transparency and accountability with law enforcement. Last year, we had over 64 million impressions from over 700,000 people that followed, liked, subscribed, or downloaded the original Mr. Checkpoint app.”

What Will the New App Do?

Besides no longer being exclusively for California residents, the new app features real-time sharing and confirmation of current law enforcement activity such as DUI checkpoints, speed traps, and immigration checkpoints. Its users will also be able to educate themselves about their constitutional rights and learn about attorneys and insurance providers in their area.

Devermont’s app will also allow let its users record and take pictures of their interaction with police officers and give a rating from one to five.

What is a DUI Checkpoint?

A DUI checkpoint, also known as a sobriety checkpoint, is a randomly picked location on a roadway in which law enforcement set up mandatory checkpoints. Drivers must stop their vehicles and be subjected to questioning and potential sobriety checks.

Sobriety checkpoints are often set up in order to catch drivers who may be intoxicated by surprise. They are often established in places not visible to approaching traffic until it is too late for them to turn around.

Are the Police Obligated to Announce DUI Checkpoints?

In the 90s after a group of Michigan residents tried to sue the Michigan Dept. of State Police on the grounds that their random sobriety checkpoints were violating their Fourth  Amendment Rights. However, in the end, The United States Supreme Court held 6-3 that they were indeed legal according to the constitution. Nevertheless, the court interpreted that citizens have the right to know about the location of a checkpoint ahead of time. Since this ruling was made, law enforcement has been obligated to publicize a checkpoint, otherwise, they are breaking the law.

The publication of sobriety checkpoints does not affect the ability of law enforcement to arrest drunk drivers. It can be argued that informing the public about a checkpoint discourages potential drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel because they do not want to risk arrest.

Can the Police Conduct DUI Checkpoints in all States?

Although the U.S. Constitution gives law enforcement the ability to establish DUI checkpoints, some states such as Iowa and Wisconsin have statutes forbidding their establishment. Interestingly some states like Washington, Oregon, and Michigan interpret that DUI checkpoints do violate their constitution.

Mr. Chekpoint’s app certainly looks promising for informing the public of checkpoints and will do a great job in discouraging drunk and impaired drivers of recklessly putting other conductor’s lives in danger by educating them.

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