Before hitting the road New Year's Eve, about 10,000 people downloaded the app "Mr. Checkpoint.” Subscribers get alerts about DUI checkpoint locations.
Now, the SDSU graduate who developed the app is suing the city of San Diego.
“Mr. Checkpoint” is 26-year-old Sennet Devermont, and 10,000 is just the tip of the iceberg.
Devermont says he has had more than 100,000 downloads nationwide in the last three months.
His methods may be controversial, but he says the app is doing more to curb drunk driving than better-known organizations, maybe even police.
Devermont says the app discourages drinking and driving and better connects with his age group through social media.
Some police agree, he claims.
“Mr. Checkpoint has been a brand that is easily identifiable with the right demographic, and I pride myself on reaching that audience,” Devermont said.
Mr. Checkpoint was developed out of Devermont’s own experience with San Diego police.
He posted a YouTube video of driving through a DUI checkpoint on 1st Avenue and Beech Street in July 2011.
Devermont refused to answer questions and take field sobriety tests. Sennett says he was handcuffed and detained for a half hour.
The video shows another officer moved his car, then searched his wallet and console. That officer later died in an unrelated car accident and is not named in the lawsuit Devermont filed in 2012.
“I'm shocked. I mean. I went home and looked at the recording. I felt heavily violated,” Devermont said.
The lawsuit alleges San Diego police violated his civil rights, used excessive force and exercised improper police behavior.
“The department needs to be held accountable. How many time does this occur and nothing’s done?” Devermont asked.
Devermont was not arrested. After agreeing to a Breathalyzer, he was let go.
San Diego police did not respond to NBC 7’s inquiry about the lawsuit, which names the city, the police chief and one other officer as defendants.
Devermont has also filed a similar lawsuit against the Santa Monica police department.