The city council of a beach town in California has voted against directing the police department to post the photos of people arrested for repeat DUI on Facebook. A city councilman proposed the plan as a way to “shame” repeat DUI offenders and prevent further DUIs.
The council voted against the measure, saying that they didn’t believe it would affect the amount of DUI arrests. The police department had opposed the plan, saying that they believed the practice would alienate them from the community. Privacy advocates and defense attorneys also questioned the practice of posting photos of people who were arrested but not convicted because everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Other cities around the country have tried posting photos to Facebook, with varying degrees of success. According to The Associated Press, Georgia’s Oconee County sheriff’s office occasionally puts photos on their Facebook page, including a recent one of someone suspected of child molestation. The chief deputy told the AP that usually they only post photos online of people who have been convicted of crimes.
The town of Huntington Beach has the most alcohol-related traffic fatalities of all cities its size in California. The city also aggressively enforces DUI laws, and made 1,687 arrests for DUI in 2009.
Calif. city considers DUI mug shots on Facebook (The Associated Press)