HB City Council Defriends Facebook DUI Shaming Plan
Farmville fanaticism, party invites, inane status updates, and embarrassing scans of junior high-era photos are all the ideal fodder for Facebook, but, luckily for people in Huntington Beach who have been charged with multiple DUIs, their photos in a shame campaign are not. So said the City Council last night, according to the OC Register, as they voted down a controversial proposal to post the photos and names of repeat DUI offenders on the social networking site.
Arguments against Councilman Devin Dwyer's now twice-defriended proposal include the points that "it would harm the city's image," that "the strategy wouldn't be effective," and that "posting photos of habitual drunken drivers would embarrass families."
The idea to put the information on Facebook arose when their local paper opted to stop publishing the names of DUI arrestees. The Register notes: "All arrests are public record and available at the police department and in the police log online."
Huntington Beach does have a documented drunk driving problem, however, that authorities are struggling to confront. The popular ocean-side community "is ranked number one out of 56 California cities of similar size for the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities," notes the AP. While some have been supportive of Dwyer's plan, one councilman's reaction was to express worry the town could turn into a modern-day "Footloose."
The city's plans to take on their drunk driving issue "include educational outreach with bars and restaurants, a foot patrol in downtown that will help bar patrons grab a cab at the end of the night and seeking grants for several DUI checkpoints throughout the year."