There is no doubt that social media is playing an increasingly important role not only for individuals but for businesses across the country. One's personal and professional reputation can be significantly impacted by posts, videos and photos posted to sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Should social media be used by law enforcement as a means of "shaming" alleged drunk drivers to discourage others from committing the same acts?
In 2011, the city of Huntington Beach considered posting photographs of repeat DUI (driving under the influence) offenders online, on the Huntington Beach Police Department's Facebook page.
Drivers who were arrested for multiple DUIs would have their names and photographs posted online for all to see. Councilman Devin Dwyer believed that this tactic would reduce drunk driving.
Council Members Reject Proposal
At a City Council meeting, council members voted against Dwyer’s proposal. Opponents argued that the proposal would harm the city's image, it would be ineffective, and it would embarrass families.
All arrests are public record and can be reviewed in person at the police department or online in the police log, but posting photographs and names of DUI arrestees on a social media takes it too far.
This brings up an interesting point about publicizing names, photographs and other personal identifying information about suspects or convicted criminals. This is already occurring across the United States for sex offenders, those convicted of various sex crimes.
If Huntington Beach had moved forward with the proposed action to post photographs of multiple DUI offenders on Facebook, this would have placed suspected drunk drivers at a similar level as sex offenders – for far less serious offenses.
It would’ve placed drivers at risk of facing public humiliation along with personal and professional repercussions associated with drunk driving arrests.
Arrested for DUI in Orange County?
Though this issue was resolved, it does not lessen the importance of an aggressive and immediate defense in the face of DUI charges. Serving all of Orange County, the team at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry is committed to protecting drivers' rights in the face of DUI arrests and charges.
Whether you’ve been arrested for a firs DUI offense or have prior DUIs on your record, now is the time to involve a legal professional. An Orange County DUI lawyer at our firm can utilize various defense strategies to combat blood or breath test results, the arresting officer's testimony and other evidence against you.
Instead of accepting a plea bargain or simply facing a conviction and maximum penalties, challenge your DUI charges with a legal professional who will put your needs first. After all, no one wants social media attention as a habitual DUI offender.
Contact our firm today and protect your reputation and future.