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Texas County Will Use Twitter To Publish Drunk Drivers' Names

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the only-animal-that-blushes dept.

Social Networks 301

alphadogg contributes this snippet from Network World: "If you get busted for drunk driving in Montgomery County, Texas, this holiday season, your neighbors may hear about it on Twitter. That's because the local district attorney's office has decided to publish the names of those charged with driving while intoxicated between Christmas and New Year's Eve. County Vehicular Crimes Prosecutor Warren Diepraam came up with the idea as a way of discouraging residents from getting behind the wheel while drunk. 'It's not a magic bullet that's going to end DWIs, but it's something to make people think twice before they get behind the wheel of a car and drive while they're intoxicated,' he said."

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301 comments

Oh. (4, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549774)

And how will they compensate anyone wrongfully put on that feed for the damage to their reputation? The Court of Public Opinion can be brutal about these things, especially when they work in HR somewhere..

Re:Oh. (5, Insightful)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549946)

And how will they compensate anyone wrongfully put on that feed for the damage to their reputation? The Court of Public Opinion can be brutal about these things, especially when they work in HR somewhere..

They typically ignore their own mistakes and make others pay for them.

Re:Oh. (2, Insightful)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550004)

Well, that's the potential offenders' own fault. They really shouldn't have been suspicious in Texas.

Re:Oh. (4, Interesting)

slarrg (931336) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550044)

In a community of six million people, how many people do you think share the same name? I can just imagine someone in my community reading my name on this Twitter page and thinking it was me rather than one of the three other people I know about with the same name. What a mess.

Worse, imagine getting fired because your clueless boss decided to fire people because their name was on the list and they drive a delivery truck. Even if you later prove that the person was someone sharing your name but living at a different address you're not likely to get your job back in an "at will" employment jurisdiction.

Re:Oh. (3, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550490)

Most likely your boss wouldn't tell you that he fired you because your name was on the list. He'd fire you "because he doesn't need you any longer" or "because times are tough" or whatever. He might not give a reason at all in an at-will state.

So, unless you could somehow prove that your name being on the list was the real reason (maybe he tells somebody this and it gets back to you), good luck doing anything about it.

Ditto for people with photos of them doing stupid things on the web - you're not going to get a call from a future employer saying "well, your interviews went well but we thought that the photo of the tattoo on your butt was a bit tacky" - you'll get a call saying "thanks for interviewing but you were not selected."

Re:Oh. (1, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550064)

And how will they compensate anyone wrongfully put on that feed for the damage to their reputation? The Court of Public Opinion can be brutal about these things, especially when they work in HR somewhere..

You ever hear of the police blotter?
http://www.google.com/search?q=police+blotter [google.com]

Unless you're a minor, the fact of your arrest and the charges surrounding it are part of a public record that gets published daily.

First! (1)

Acid-Duck (228035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549776)

Do people really care if their name is published on Twitter? If they'd really want to embarrass drunk drivers, force them to drive around with a pink license plate (or any other flashy colors)

Re:First! (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549800)

I agree, but more so. i think they should get the kind of caneing they deal out in singapore. and televise it every sunday night, i know i'd tune in.

Re:First! (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550314)

Well, even if they don't care specifically about twitter, every search engine indexes twitter pages and then it means it's out in the internet. Anyone (your future boss, loved one, parents etc) googling your name will be able to find it for years.

Re:First! (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549940)

Yeah. What sort of an antisocial jerk is going to subscribe to that twitter feed and sift through a bunch of names of people they've never heard of on the off chance that they run into a neighbor?

Re:First! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550102)

on the off chance that they run into a neighbor?

I see what you did there...

Re:First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550596)

Their called Christians...

They love to hold everyone else to a higher standard.

Re:First! (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550040)

If they'd really want to embarrass drunk drivers, force them to drive around with a pink license plate (or any other flashy colors)

Forcing them to not drive is a far more sensible idea.

"Innocent until proven guilty" (5, Insightful)

seifried (12921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549784)

I guess it's gone out of fashion. Sad.

Re:"Innocent until proven guilty" (-1)

Acid-Duck (228035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549798)

Simply because one gets away because of a mistake/technicality doesn't mean they weren't drunk. I've read about people beating a DUI charge a few times around here in Toronto, usually cops. Unless they got stopped by the RIDE program, the cops must of had a reason to pull them over in the first place (i.e.: drifting from one lane to another)

its just your record of arrest and prosecution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549824)

That reporter is a dumbass.
Being arrested doesn't make you guilty.
Being prosecuted doesn't make you guilty.
You're not a "drunk driver" until a judge or
jury of your peers finds you guilty in a court of law.

Re:"Innocent until proven guilty" (2, Interesting)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549874)

Then that's a failing in the process not the law. If the police are corruptly allowing other cops to get away with breaking the law (often in collusion with the courts*) then it's the corruption that needs to be dealt with. *"But if you ban this highly trained and skilled police officer from driving then he'll lose his job your honour." "In that case this pillar of society who drunkenly mowed down three people in his car is fined $3."

Re:"Innocent until proven guilty" (4, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550646)

Except these people haven't 'mowed down three people'. They haven't committed any other crime than driving under the influence. No children were hurt in the making of this tweet. No damage done. No insurance claims filed. They were simply caught driving under the influence.

People here keep associating these people with murderers, referencing the M.A.D.D. folks, ad-nauseum. The simple truth, is that the only crime here is DUI until it isn't. This isn't pre-cog court. These folks most likely would have gone home, and no one would have been the wiser if they hadn't been pulled over. Were they pulled over for weaving? Perhaps because the cop camps outside of some winery? They are being treated as if they did hit and kill someone, when such a thing hasn't happened. They are being pre-judged due to every drunk driver who happened to cause some accident.

This does nothing more than to prosecute these people in a public court, without a trial.

My sister was killed in a jeep driven by a drunk driver. Did I hate the driver? Yes. Was it totally his fault? No. I later learned that a construction company failed to put up signs warning that the pavement was uneven due to resurfacing. Could he have avoided the accident if he hadn't been drinking? Who knows. I can't claim to know the future, or predict events. I can only judge the facts after they are known. Somehow I doubt this blog presents the facts that are heard in a trial. This blog won't prevent DUI. It simply serves some sick need for people to butt into other peoples business so that they can feel judgmental and holier than thou.

Re:"Innocent until proven guilty" (2, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549936)

First off, you can bet cops will have pull to not be published. Second off, you're kind of asinine/assholey {ass-something, perhaps hat...}... What if you're having a diabetic seizure and mistakenly reported as drunk? Later you can't get employed because archive.org has a copy of this tweet that will never go away. Innocent until proven guilty exists for a reason. Punitive dicks like you want to mess up the balance in favor of casting a few innocent people into your safety net. Oh, and in case you think nothing happens to diabiets, eat it: http://delicious.com/clintjcl/diabetics [delicious.com]

That's just one example. Rest assured there are more, and there are things we haven't thought of. In many jurisdictions you can be charged without a breathalyzer.

Think things never go wrong with the DUI process? Here's some more links to think about: http://delicious.com/clintjcl/dui [delicious.com]. I especially like the forceful catherization of your penis because a breathalyze showed no DUI. But in your world, you'd permanently mar these people, guilty or not. Have fun with your fascist prictatorship.

Re:"Innocent until proven guilty" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550166)

You raise a good point - however, the law is also not based on emotion for a reason. In this case, you're making the emotional case that "a diabetic having a sugar [crash/high/etc] doesn't deserve to be punished" - whereas the logical case is "a diabetic who doesn't carefully control their illness behind the wheel is a danger that we cannot allow". Now we'd all agree that jail-time would be a ridiculous recourse, but certainly they should not be allowed to drive in that condition (just as no sensible person would allow a blind person to drive unassisted, regardless of whether or not they "deserve" to).

Having said that, you seem to have a bone to pick with DUIs/cops (judging by the well-populated delicious page which shares your name). If it weren't the holiday season and I weren't feeling so charitable, I might suggest that you were legitimately pulled over for drink-driving and you're furiously trying to justify your mistake by pointing fingers, but seeing it's Christmas, I'll assume that you're legitimately upset at injustices ;).

Re:"Innocent until proven guilty" (0, Troll)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550374)

Way to put words in people's mouths dumbass. ClintJCL never said diabetics who can't control their condition should be allowed to drive even at the endangerment of others. No, he simply said that they should not be charged with a DUI. It's hardly emotional to believe that the punishment should fit the crime.

Re:"Innocent until proven guilty" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550288)

catherization?!? You sure that story wasn't fudged? Hell, in the town I live in (State College, PA... home of Penn State's main campus) they don't even do breathalyzers, you get a Pre-Breath Test (PBT) roadside that just gives them an idea of the BAC level, but can't be used in court. They'll also do a field sobriety unless you tell them you don't want to take it.. either way they still take you to the hospital to drawl blood and get an actual-can-be-used-in-court BAC level. No catherization needed... I can't believe anywhere would actually employ that method

Re:"Innocent until proven guilty" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550384)

Seriously. We started at terrorism _suspects_ and are working our way down. (It's amazing that some of the same people who rabidly claim to distrust the government feel that the government is flawless when it comes to law enforcement and justice.)

What? No Due Process? (5, Insightful)

hedgemage (934558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549790)

I checked the article to be sure, and yep, it says that those CHARGED will have their names published on Twitter. So, even if you are found not guilty, you are going to be publicly named as a DUI offender before you even get a chance to clear your name.
I'm not trying to excuse drunk drivers, but for some reason, its seen as ok to make those charged or convicted of DUIs out to be the scum of the earth, wantonly careening down the roadways, seeking out innocents to mow down, when in fact most people who get DUIs are just ordinary joes who made a bad decision while not in the best state of mind.
The idea that it is somehow ok to humiliate people who are supposedly INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY seems like a prelude to a morality police state.

Re:What? No Due Process? (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549828)

I hate to break it to you, but if you blow into the bag multiple times, then get taken back to the machine in the station and STILL blow above the limit, then your guilty as fuck. any process beyond the machine testing is just paper work and your attempts to come up with futile excuses.

and yes people that drink drive ARE SCUM, and should be harshly dealt with. if you'd ever known someone who has lost family or friends to some piece of shit DUI'er you'd understand how senseless and heart breaking it is that moron's still drink drive.

Re:What? No Due Process? (2, Informative)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549860)

What if it was one of those bullshit cases where you were taking a nap in the back of your own car and the keys were in the ignition? (to run the AC/heat or the stereo)

What if you failed the field sobriety test, but demanded a blood test, which came back clean. (but the prosecutor decided to charge you anyway...that's perfectly legal in Texas)

Heck, in Texas, you can be charged with a crime when exculpatory evidence proving that you did not commit the crime exists. The prosecutor does not have any legal obligation to mention this evidence in the paperwork used to formally charge a person.

Re:What? No Due Process? (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549978)

if you had the keys in the ignition and you were drunk, then your a dumbass and deserve to be caught.

name one instance where a sobriety test was taken as evidence over a blood test. I think your going off in imaginary tangents which haven't actually happened.

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550272)

You missed his point. Just because you passed a blood test doesn't mean the DA will drop the case, or even enter the blood test into evidence at all (in Texas, "you can be charged with a crime when exculpatory evidence proving that you did not commit the crime exists" to quote OP).

Plus, beyond corner cases such as this, there is a bigger issue at stake. The DA is taking it upon him/herself to enact a form of punishment. This is outside of the DA's purview, a judge and jury decides who gets punished and what that punishment will be.

If they were planning to tweet the names of all the people convicted of the crime, that would be different (though it has problems of its own as well).

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550394)

if you had the keys in the ignition and you were drunk, then your a dumbass and deserve to be caught.

Caught doing what? Sitting parked in a parking lot trying to stay warm/cool? Unless the vehicle in question was moving, how the fuck do you justify giving someone either a DUI or a DWI?

That's not the law though is it. (2, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549862)

That's not the law though is it and the police have proved many times they're not above faking the evidence. The police and the CPS or DA (or local equivalent) are biased, they have an incentive to get convictions, so I certainly wouldn't want them acting as judge as well.

Re:That's not the law though is it. (3, Insightful)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549948)

That's not the law though is it and the police have proved many times they're not above faking the evidence. The police and the CPS or DA (or local equivalent) are biased, they have an incentive to get convictions,

In some cases it appears to have been more "important" to convict someone than to find the "right" person. On the police side the incentive may be more to arrest as many people as possible.

Re:That's not the law though is it. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549990)

this isn't a conviction, it's a twitter feed.

Re:That's not the law though is it. (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550274)

It is punishment before there is a determination of guilt, and worse it's a public, permanent, and easily searchable brand on this person before they have even been placed in front of a judge.

Re:That's not the law though is it. (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550524)

It's akin to a despicable newspaper we have here in NC called the Slammer [theslammer.com]. They publish the mug shot and charges of practically everyone who's been arrested in the area, often with accompanying text that often makes it seem as if there is no doubt about their guilt.

Their site is a bit sparse so here are some news articles about the paper on WRAL [wral.com] and privateofficernews [wordpress.com].

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549890)

I hate to break it to you, but if you blow into the bag multiple times, then get taken back to the machine in the station and STILL blow above the limit, then your guilty as fuck.

Or are you? [slashdot.org]

I suppose, as the GP says, this is just one example of why we are supposed to have a presumption of innocence. It's an extremely slippery slope once you forego a persons right to defend themselves, especially when it's the f'ing police, part of the justice system foregoing it.

Re:What? No Due Process? (2, Informative)

minderaser (28934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549896)

I hate to break it to YOU but ...

You're a fucking moron. There are no bags. Where did you get that idea? YOU obviously have NO clue.
You are a pinched evil bitter moron.

(yes, look at me, I know how to properly use apostrophes)

DUI blower machines are defective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549904)

they don't actually prove you've had alcohol or that are intoxicated

Re:DUI blower machines are defective (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550018)

they don't actually prove you've had alcohol or that are intoxicated

But they do nicely establish probable cause for a blood test, and the #1 reason for failing the breath test is intoxication so even without a blood test you've got a fair mountain to climb to establish that there is reasonable doubt. If the police officer has video footage of you coming out of a bar or driving erratically, well, perhaps you should have stayed sober after all? Or got a taxi?

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

grimw (1253370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549906)

1. Your grammatical errors make it appear like YOU'VE been drinking too much! Try not to hit the bottle so hard.
2. You are not legally required to blow into anything. It's called the 5th amendment; look it up.
3. I wouldn't demand a blood test either (see 5th amendment (look it up)). However, if forced to take one, I really have no choice at that point, but it would only help my case in court if I didn't give up my 5th amendment right (look it up).

Thank you.

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549928)

They can't force you to blow into a breathalyzer, but if you refuse, you get charged with refusing to provide a breath sample when requested. Enjoy your prison stay on that charge. I dunno about you, but jail's jail.

Re:What? No Due Process? (2, Informative)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549934)

I hate to break it to you, but if you blow into the bag multiple times, then get taken back to the machine in the station and STILL blow above the limit, then your guilty as fuck. any process beyond the machine testing is just paper work and your attempts to come up with futile excuses.

If it were that simple then the makers of such machines wouldn't be so reluctant to explain how they actually work. In many places, though possibly not here, a blood or urine test is required.

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550032)

If it were that simple then the makers of such machines wouldn't be so reluctant to explain how they actually work. In many places, though possibly not here, a blood or urine test is required.

The cops probably don't know how they work. (Can you exactly explain how everything you use works? Really?) But they do know just what constitutes evidence for the jurisdiction, and picking a fight over it is just plain dumb.

Re:What? No Due Process? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550152)

If it were that simple then the makers of such machines wouldn't be so reluctant to explain how they actually work. ...

The cops probably don't know how they work. ...

Non sequitur.

(That's Latin for "You fail it, bozo.")

Re:What? No Due Process? (0, Troll)

Acid-Duck (228035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549830)

When someone is charged with a DUI, there really isn't any questions about if they were drunk or not. If they get away with an innocent verdict, it just means they know how to work the system (or, I guess every so often, someone might be victim of a faulty machine however these are calibrated/tested before every use).

Re:What? No Due Process? (2, Interesting)

enjo13 (444114) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549864)

I agree with you that this sort of publication of charges instead of convictions sucks.

However, your characterization of drunk drivers is just wrong. They ARE incredibly dangerous. They ARE reckless, and while they may not intentionally be seeking out people to mow down, they are showing a tremendous disregard for those same people.

Buying Chocolate when you wanted Strawberry is a bad decision. Getting behind the wheel while drunk shows a fundamental contempt for human life.

Attempting to trivialize it in the way you have is honestly quite disturbing.

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549898)

Drunk drivers aren't drunk drivers until they're convicted. I happen to know someone personally who was charged with drunk driving for sleeping in his car in the parking lot of a bar.

Re:What? No Due Process? (2, Insightful)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550392)

People aren't guilty of DWI until they are convicted - they're a drunk driver the moment they drive while pissed.

Considering that this policy has the potential to harm innocent people, it should really come with a sensible plan to monitor its effectiveness, and to monitor its unintended side effects.

If it doesn't do any good, or if it screws up too many innocent people lives; there should be figures to show it.

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550416)

*facepalm*

I'd love to know how a drunk driving charge can be justified for someone in a parked car.

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

pinkocommie (696223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550104)

Nobody is trivializing it - Innocent until proven guilty? If they're actually guilty then you can argue over the merits of this - otherwise it's plain wrong.
Personal anecdote: A friend of mine that was pulled over, passed all the roadside sobriety tests, passed the field breathalyzer and was arrested anyways, he then passed the test at the detention center which resulted in them calling immigration on him (I'd presume because he looked middle eastern :)).

FWIW He was not on a visa and the judge threw out the case and had his record expunged.

Re:What? No Due Process? (1, Insightful)

Felix Da Rat (93827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550400)

However, your characterization of drunk drivers is just wrong. They ARE incredibly dangerous. They ARE reckless, and while they may not intentionally be seeking out people to mow down, they are showing a tremendous disregard for those same people.

As is the 80 year old whose children don't have the nerve to take his license away. As is the car full of teens joking around and wrestling with each other. As is the soccer mom making 'play-date' plans for her kid on her cell phone.

However of those, at least around D.C., only the drunk driver has a specific set of laws that may well ruin their life, even if they never cause any harm. If they do cause harm, the punishment is considerably worse than for anyone else.

Drunk Driving laws are a prophylactic and perverted form of justice. They punish on the theory that you may hurt someone in the future. Should we accept laws saying 'Because you own a gun, you are probably going to be a murderer'?

Reckless endangerment of life is that always, regardless of if one is drunk, old, young, or scatter-brained.

it's just an electronic perp walk (2, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549910)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perp_walk [wikipedia.org]

I'm not really a fan of perp walks, but they've been present in US society for 100 years haven't yet pushed us into a morality police state.

Re:it's just an electronic perp walk (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549970)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perp_walk [wikipedia.org]

I'm not really a fan of perp walks, but they've been present in US society for 100 years haven't yet pushed us into a morality police state.

Same thing I was thinking. Always thought that was a deplorable tradition. Listening to the Mister Grinch song on the radio right now is not making this topic any prettier either.

Re:it's just an electronic perp walk (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550468)

Look, we've had the internet for a while now and it's time that everybody understands the implications. The internet is not like chit-chat. What is published on the internet does not disappear and is not limited to a local audience. The internet is a searchable archive. A perp walk has limited consequences. "Just" making it an online perp walk fundamentally changes the consequences, not just the medium.

Re:What? No Due Process? (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549998)

"Innocent until proven guilty" goes all the way back to the dark ages when it replaced trial by fire in England. This system is a modern day trail by fire and would offically put Texas back to the dark ages when it comes to the rights of the accused.

However I think shaming is a reasonable but insufficient punishment for those convicted, and it is definitely an effective deterent for others. A consistent campagin by the state of Victoria, (Australia) to make drink driving socially unacceptable has dramatically cut the road toll over the past 30yrs. DUI is no longer seen as a "bad decison" as it was when I learnt to drive in the 70's, it's seen as a selfish and reckless act that is worthy of jail time.

There's are few Aussie's alive who have never seen the award winning bloddy idiot [youtube.com] ads. These ads combined with "booze buses" were so effective that in the first few years of the campaing the TAC saved several billion in injury payouts. Yeah I know, it's "social engineering", but it's the good kind that fills young heads with images of reality. Of course Aussies being what they are the slogan quickly became; "If you dink and drive you're a bloody idiot, if you make it home you're a bloody ledgend".

20yrs (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550068)

"cut the road toll over the past 30yrs"

Little bit of a seniors moment there, the campaing started 20yrs ago (maybe the booze buses started a bit earlier?). Anyway, just found their 20th anniversary montage [youtube.com] of some of their ads. Drunk or not they leave a powerfull impression.

Re:What? No Due Process? (2, Informative)

Chief Camel Breeder (1015017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550000)

TFA says that the county also tweets names of people charged with "soliciting a prostitute" (whatever that means exactly in Texan law). That sounds like a whole new blackmail industry hatching. At least with DUI you can objectively prove innocence.

Re:What? No Due Process? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550276)

I'm not trying to excuse drunk drivers, but for some reason, its seen as ok to make those charged or convicted of DUIs out to be the scum of the earth, wantonly careening down the roadways, seeking out innocents to mow down, when in fact most people who get DUIs are just ordinary joes who made a bad decision while not in the best state of mind.

There is, in fact, no difference. The only people who will be unfairly harmed by anything like this are people who aren't DUI at all. There are people arrested falsely for DUI every day, that is the reason nothing like this should be permitted. It promotes a presumption of guilt and thus should be held to be unconstitutional.

Bad state of Mind ... (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550372)

when in fact most people who get DUIs are just ordinary joes who made a bad decision while not in the best state of mind

And given the fact that this "Not in the best state of mind" is so drunk that they don't care risking their own life or passengers' or other drivers' or pedestrians' (although last is more valid here in Europe than in Texas County), I highly doubt they will ever consider something about some message being posted on some social website.

Usually life/death consideration is higher rated than other stuff, so if they're too drunk to try avoid getting themselves killed in a road accident, I doubt that Twitter will ever "make people think twice before they get behind the wheel of a car and drive while they're intoxicated".

This whole story fails on its primary purpose, and will probably cause a lot of complication due to wannabe-vigilantes interpreting wrongly the names they see on Twitter.

In short : Bad idea.

Terrible Idea (2, Insightful)

228e2 (934443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549796)

Now, im as against DUI as any sane person, but theres a law about cruel and unusual punishment.

You cant publicly scorn someone for doing Unlawful Deed A and not for B, C and D.

Re:Terrible Idea (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550072)

You cant publicly scorn someone for doing Unlawful Deed A and not for B, C and D.

Why not? The arrest is a public record.
I, for one, look forward to the day that police put their arrest archives online, in an easily searchable format, with mugshots.
Information wants to be free.

Doubtful (3, Interesting)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549804)

This is one of those, "oh, it sounds good and makes me look tough on crime, therefore, it's a good idea" things. Not that it's a bad idea, but it's ineffective. If someone is drunk and things driving is a good idea I kind of doubt they'll be in the state of mind at the time to thing, "oh golly, if I get caught people on Twitter might know!" Not to mention that most people won't even know this is happening in the first place!

This really is just some inane idea some bureaucrat thought up because it makes them look tough on crime and HEY LOOK TWITTER ISN'T THAT COOL. This is just some stunt someone thought up to make it look like they are getting paid for a good reason. The kind of gimmick that appeals to PHBs in corporate settings.

Re:Doubtful (2, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549966)

This is one of those, "oh, it sounds good and makes me look tough on crime, therefore, it's a good idea" things. Not that it's a bad idea, but it's ineffective. If someone is drunk and things driving is a good idea I kind of doubt they'll be in the state of mind at the time to thing, "oh golly, if I get caught people on Twitter might know!" Not to mention that most people won't even know this is happening in the first place!

There's also the problem that if the accused has a common name such "naming and shaming" won't be such a good idea anyway.
If they really wanted to be tough here then a conviction would always result in a driving ban and a need to take a driving test after the ban had expired.

Huh... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549812)

Will this evolve into a DUI Offender Registry?

How to avoid this (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549850)

Change your name to something longer than 140 characters.

COPS TV show features drunk drivers (2, Insightful)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549854)

But the difference is, they blur the faces of those who haven't been found guilty (yet). They are also a news organization with no legal power, but this is a police (military) organization. These police are assuming guilt for anyone merely charged, so I suppose it's natural for them to also apply punishment.

A few years in the future when the police will be scouring the streets performing judgments and executions on the spot, I'm afraid it will be too late for anyone to do anything about our lost rights. By then the court system will be a rarely used dusty relic of the past.

Really? You went with the slippery slope route? (1)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550076)

Wow, from twitter to public executions in just a few short years. I'm actually a bit speechless. And to think, this is just a more technological way of doing something that is already done in most towns across America: The Courthouse News section of the local paper. You know, where all the events that went through the courts are written out for the public to see. But, hey, you're right. Twitter feeds are definitely the step just before a tyrannical police dictatorship.

Re:Really? You went with the slippery slope route? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550432)

And to think, this is just a more technological way of doing something that is already done in most towns across America: The Courthouse News section of the local paper. You know, where all the events that went through the courts are written out for the public to see.

See that part I bolded for you? That makes your comment completely irrelevant. Usually you're charged with something before you hit the courthouse.

Good idea (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549856)

Because we all check twitter feeds containing nothing but hundreds of random names on the off-chance that someone we know has been drink driving.

Crew & Unusal Punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549870)

Isn't there some law about cruel and unusual punishment? Publicly humiliating a person for all the world to see is a little unusual and potentially cruel. With search engines; this will make someone's life very interesting; not to mention immortal with search engine caches. Try explaining this one to your boss.

No, I am not advocating or protecting drunk driving; it's the judges job to dish out the punishment not law enforcement.

Re:Crew & Unusal Punishment (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550192)

I thought this too. If they plead not guilty and it goes to court, it could prejudice the jury.
I think Drunk drivers are selfish people in that they drive without regard to others, but this seems a little excessive.

I also love how Texas is mostly Republican yet wants the government in our lives in these ways. Hypocritical hillbillies.

Just one question... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549878)

Can a person be charged with drunk driving if they actually haven't had anything to drink? If not, then I have no problems with this action by the county.

I've got approximately zero sympathy for people who drive while under the influence of alcohol, whether or not they happen to be within the "legal limit".

Re:Just one question... (3, Insightful)

pitterpatter (1397479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550006)

Of course a person can be charged with drunk driving if they haven't had anything to drink. Reasons for this might include, but will not be limited to:

1. Evil cops (not likely, IMO, but definitely possible).

2. Deluded cops (more likely, but still a stretch).

3. Overzealous cops, particularly if you're exhibiting something that looks like inebriated behavior but isn't; for example, several neurological conditions can cause you to have slurred speech or an unsteady gait but still be fine to drive.

4. Getting framed by an enemy.

5. Being acquainted with Ashton Kutcher.

In addition, as several posters have already pointed out, a person can be charged with drunk driving if they haven't actually driven and are not going to drive.

I'd be fine with capital punishment for people convicted of causing an accident while driving drunk, but I'm a little uneasy about draconian punishments for those who haven't actually caused damage yet, and I'm adamantly opposed to punishment of people without due process. To me, publishing names of arrestees is punishment without due process.

Re:Just one question... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550196)

To me, publishing names of arrestees is punishment without due process.

On the flipside, public naming of arrestees is a major safeguard against secret detentions and everything else that comes with them.

Obviously twittering the names of arrestees is not necessary for that safeguarding, but not publishing that information at all would be a significant step backwards.

Re:Just one question... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550054)

Can a person be charged with drunk driving if they actually haven't had anything to drink?

You don't have to be guilty to be changed with anything. There are certainly cases of people being charged with drunk "driving" who were not actually driving...

I've got approximately zero sympathy for people who drive while under the influence of alcohol, whether or not they happen to be within the "legal limit".

There also appear to be no shortage of people incapable of driving safely without taking any drugs at all.

Well (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549884)

Fact is, this publishing of names like this is a form of punishment for the crime.

Fact is, the Constitutions of the United States AND the Constitution of Texas both say you cannot be deprived of privileges or property without due process. Due process means a conviction/guilty plea in a court of law.

Fact is, people beat DUI charges all the time. They hire good lawyers at their own expense that know how to work the system. Those people are never found guilty of the crime, yet this twitter feed essentially punishes the innocent as determined by a court of law. It's unconstitutional, but it will cost time and money to fight this criminal act on the part of the police department.

Re:Well (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550038)

I wonder if a reasonably competent lawyer could make a legal argument that, as the publishing of your name on Twitter is clearly a punishment, you can't be tried for your charge due to already having been found guilty and punished for the same act before. If that flied, it could lead to a seriously unfavorable scenario if the first one to successfully try it were someone who happened to kill someone with his car.

Plus, if a person is found innocent on DUI but has his name published, can he sue the police for libel? It may not be a good idea if you sue the police where you live (I hear some local police forces can become quite vengeful) but if you don't expect to come to the area again it might be quite attractive to squeeze a couple thousand bucks out of the overeager cops.

Re:Well (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550084)

Fact is, this publishing of names like this is a form of punishment for the crime.

Fact is, the Constitutions of the United States AND the Constitution of Texas both say you cannot be deprived of privileges or property without due process. Due process means a conviction/guilty plea in a court of law.

Fact is, people beat DUI charges all the time. They hire good lawyers at their own expense that know how to work the system. Those people are never found guilty of the crime, yet this twitter feed essentially punishes the innocent as determined by a court of law. It's unconstitutional, but it will cost time and money to fight this criminal act on the part of the police department.

Fact is, the list of those arrested and the charges against them are published daily.
Public records are not a punishment and are not unconstitutional.
Feel free to go down to your local police/sherrif's station and ask to look at the blotter.

Re:Well (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550320)

Fact is, you've never bothered to pick up and read any town's news paper have you? Turn to the local section, and you'll see a list of all crimes people have been charged with, that have been waived or dropped, and crimes people have been found guilty for. This is no different than that's been going on in news print for.. I'd imagine a long ass time. I know it's been in our local paper since I first picked one up back 20 years ago

What about personal data protection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549900)

Holy crapsmokes - where's the data protection laws here? I find it very irritating that this should be allowed.
Ah, right ... you live in the USA, not good ol' Europe ;)

Cruel and unusual punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549902)

Bill of right has called and want their Eighth Amendment on Cruel and unusual punishment back!

Why not try this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30549960)

Why not try getting the bars in there area to have a live display of the feeds, that way they can see how many people in the area are getting pulled over/taken in. Also gives a game to play.....lets see if bob makes it home....

Your grandkids will love it! (2, Insightful)

sosume (680416) | more than 4 years ago | (#30549964)

In a hundred years, your grand-grand-grand kids will have fun googling their ancestry and finding that they were driving under influence ...
  nowait - doesn't the DA know that the internet never forgets? That anyone can find this informatiuon by just googling someone's name?
"Hello i'm here for the job interview"- "Oh I see you had a DUI 32 years ago .. sorry we can't employ convicts here"

We should do it with piracy accused as well! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550012)

People who are charged but not convicted of copyright infringement should have their names and home towns published on a searchable list.

It makes sense!

this is already happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550146)

http://twitter.com/multnocoarrests

portland oregon arrest log, most jails have public data on inmates, very easy to scrape

Re:this is already happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550376)

Given the extreme stigma attached to being arrested for anything in the US, you have to wonder if those with the right connections stay on the register.

On my quest to find chicks who are also in jail, there was:

# 'Karra K. Ols. (19) THEFT II (A Misdemeanor).. http://bit.ly/5Z0eqL' 9:08 PM Dec 22nd from pdx arrests
(name shortened by me because I don't support assholes searching up backgrounds years later just to leverage that stigma).

however, unlike all the other people in the Twitter stream, there is no arrest record found at the address, and no searchable record of this person being either arrested or released.

Future News: Wrongfully Charged Awarded Millions. (4, Interesting)

jafo (11982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550160)

DUI is a terrible thing, and I won't defend it. However, I also know that beat officers will sometimes abuse their power. I grew up around sheriff's deputies, my mother worked in the department (in administration) and most of her friends were beat officers. So I got exposed to a lot of their stories.

So, yeah, I'm sure that quite a lot of the people who get charged are guilty as hell. And I'm sure that some of the people who get cleared of the charges are cleared only on a technicality and they were guilty. If they have multiple tests

However, I can imagine also that there are officers who, for whatever reason, may wrongfully charge someone. "I saw him leave a bar." Truth is he was the designated driver but had to go home early. "He was staggering." Truth is he had an inner ear infection that messed up his balance, or maybe he was messing with his smartphone while walking to the car. "He had dramatic variances in his speed." The truth was that he was doing the speed limit just fine until the officer started tailgating him, where he slowed down to reduce the chance of getting run into. What may be overwhelming evidence to the officer -- say if his breathalyzer in his car is broken, may be later found by the court to have other reasons, like the stumbling.

This is why we have the courts hear the case before passing judgment, and the police don't do the conviction on the spot.

The speed change part above happened to my wife a few years ago. She was pulled over and asked if she had been drinking because she dramatically slowed down. She slowed down because there was a giant SUV following her less than a car length away 55MPH. It was the officer's SUV. Why he wasn't in the next lane over, which was empty, I can't imagine.

It is not the job of the "beat officer" to make a conviction -- it's the job of the courts to look at the evidence and make that determination. They can charge you with anything, and you can't make any defense of that charge to the officer. You have to make it to the court.

The world today, here in the US, has a reality where posting something on the Internet, particularly from an official source like the police, will probably follow you around forever. And you'll never know if you didn't get that job offer because of this search result (which is probably highly ranked), because HR will tell you they just had a better candidate, if they tell you anything at all, because they don't want to be sued for making a bad decision.

Sean

things have changed re drunk driving. (3, Informative)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550182)

I am from New Zealand but I presume attitudes are similar in other countries.

20 years ago driving drunk was pretty much ignored by police and "as long as the car knew its way home" things were fine. I would imagine "young'uns" must really find this hard to imagine, but there was really nothing seen as wrong with DUI. You just did.

Within 1/2 my lifetime(1/4 for some), the subject has gone from being seen as harmless, and perhaps something to laugh over at monday morning coffee to seeing a person caught going into custody, then potentialy jail, fines, loss of license, but more over, the social stigma, and potential job loss.

I do not drink and drive any more, as I can see the logic of not, buts it mainly to avoid fines and job risk.

Police sure make some money though. Those fines boost those coffers...just sayin'....

Re:things have changed re drunk driving. (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550500)

20 years ago driving drunk was pretty much ignored by police and "as long as the car knew its way home" things were fine. I would imagine "young'uns" must really find this hard to imagine, but there was really nothing seen as wrong with DUI. You just did.

USA poster here - The attitude you're describing pretty much ended in the late '70s. Twenty years ago drunk driving was a serious no-no, at least among the high school and college set. Mothers Against Drunk Driving had a lot of influence in the early '80s, and a lot of kids saw horror films (The Last Prom-"Joey and Cindy won't be having their last prom because they're DEAD!"). However, it appears that MADD overstepped, lost some credibility, and drunk driving is up again among the kids.

Re:things have changed re drunk driving. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550644)

My grandfather used to tell me about how in France it used to be that if you got into a crash, you could use being drunk as an excuse. You, "Well, um, I just got out of the bar and must have been a little tipsy didn't really see that car coming." Office, "Ah, those things happen." The officer would actual write that down as if it excused the whole thing, maybe tell you that you shouldn't drink so much before driving but as along as no one was seriously injured it didn't affect your driving status more then a normal accident. Even if you mowed down a pedestrian it was unlikely that you would face jail time for it. After all you were drunk, so obviously you would not be doing your best driving.

But they'll still fine you right? :P (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550246)

Twitter? Come on. This is just some idiot thinking hes doing something special, when in fact hes not. This is just dumb.

The fine is enough to discourage people.

No one cares if they're name goes on twitter for being a drunk. If anything it probably shows they had a good time and go laid, or that they're depressed and lonely. Perhaps that will help them get laid more.

It will be the twitter list for people you want to party with.

It's a lawyer, lawman alliance extraveganza . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30550258)

. . . and nobody is assinged to watch.

One man . . . one precedent. . . less rights. Let's see how far this man will go, to rape the United ...States...Constitution, in the name of drunk drivers (the popular excuse for totalitarian surveillence and "dragnet" police state measuers these days I guess)!

This Christmas: "Fuck You!" clearly being communcated by your Federal Government, and all of those semi-recently Bush/Obama era "private sector" despots, too. (Back atcha.)

It's Nazi Germany like you've never seen it before! It's modern! It's hip! It's control like we've never seen ladies and gentlemen! it slices, it dices, it starves the third world, and hikes prices.

For a limited time only, Constitutional Rights! Void upon futher legislation by a despotic authoritarian regime that can only resort to propaganda and intimidation in order to argue it's absolutely insane ideologies, which belong in the manner of pyschological study, not that of the psychologist.

Now back to your regularly scheduled "degeneracy".

the problem is the public's attitude (1, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550348)

It is an essential part of the justice process that arrest records are public, to prevent secret detentions, etc. This has already been discussed by other posters, and is why such records are already public, just not accessible in such a convenient manner. A group of private individuals could easily republish such records.

Now, it is clear that the police should not be doing what is being described here, but the reason is that shaming is not part of the job description of the police. The reason is not that arrest records should be kept secret.

The more fundamental problem here, if any, is a misunderstanding of the law by those reading that twitter feed. A list of charges should be interpreted as nothing more than a list of charges - it is not a list of guilty people, and even if it were, it is not a list of people to be abused. Any employer refusing to give you a job on the basis of being on a list of charged people, unless perhaps they had determined that you were still moving through the legal process and your job involves driving, would have been a very dangerous employer to work for. Before you give me the argument that you need a roof over your head more than you need a fair and just employer, the only reason for the power imbalance is so many people like you fearing the loss of little comfort.

Note that it has not yet been proven that the public in general think a charged person is a convicted person. This sort of thing needs to be studied scientifically, as a basis for educating where necessary to disabuse the people of serious misconceptions about the legal process.

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