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Social Media and its Effect on Your Case.

Law Enforcement Tries to Use Social Media to Shame Drivers

Social media plays a huge role for individuals and businesses. In fact, an individual’s personal and business reputation is greatly impacted by photographs and information posted on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a question for you. Should law enforcement use social media to “shame” drivers accused of driving under the influence to discourage everyone from committing the same offense?


Well, before you answer, let’s discuss a situation where law enforcement tried to do this exact thing. In 2011, Huntington Beach officials considered going forward with a plan to post the photographs of alleged repeat DUI offenders online. The pictures would be posted to the Huntington Beach Police Department’s Facebook page. In other words, drivers arrested for alleged multiple DUIs would have their pictures along with their name online for everyone to view.

The proposal was made by Huntington Beach Councilman Devin Dwyer. At that time, he said he believed it would stop people from driving if they had been drinking. He made the proposal after a local newspaper published the names of people arrested for crimes.

However, at a later city council meeting council members voted not to make the proposal law. There were a lot of arguments against publishing the pictures online such as:

  • The postings would embarrass family members of the arrestee.
  • It would harm the city’s image.
  • It would not be effective.

In fact, all arrests are public record. Anyone one can review the documents online or in person at the police department. So posting the pictures along with names of DUI arrestees on social media is going too far.

It brings up an interesting point about publicizing photographs, names and other information about those arrested or convicted of crimes. The debate is already occurring across the United States because of people convicted of sex crimes. Many sex offenders must register with their local law enforcement officials and regularly update their information. Their information along with photographs are available for public viewing. This has created some safety concerns with sex offenders and a certain level of shame or damaged reputation that comes with the registration.

Imagine if Huntington Beach had moved forward with the proposed plan of posting pictures of multiple DUI offenders on their Facebook page. It would have placed people arrested of DUI on the same level as convicted sex offenders. Drivers would face public humiliation and experience personal and professional repercussions for a DUI arrest even though they are presumed innocent unless found guilty by a judge or jury. Also, DUI charges are generally far less serious than a sex crimes.

For now, it appears the issue of using social media to shame alleged DUI suspects has been resolved. It does not lessen the importance of fighting a DUI charge. Having an immediate and aggressive defense when facing DUI charges are imperative. The Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin is committed to protecting driver’s rights while building an aggressive defense.

Whether you were arrested and charged with DUI for the first time or have previous convictions, it’s time to hire a DUI defense lawyer. Our team can utilize one or more defense strategies to challenge breath or blood DUI test results. We also will challenge the officer’s version of the DUI arrest and any other alleged evidence against you.

You may have the option of accepting a plea bargain or pleading guilty. You definitely have the right to fight the DUI charge and avoid the penalties that come along with the conviction. You want to protect your reputation on and off social media. Call the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin today to schedule your free consultation.

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Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney
6777 Hollywood Blvd Ste 508
Los Angeles, CA 90028