Garden State Municipalities Turn to Social Network Sites to Discourage Drunken Driving

We’ve discussed this before, but anyone who wishes to maintain the respect of their family, peers and business associates should be very sensitive to the potential embarrassment that a drunken driving conviction can bring upon them. Reputations, friendships and marital relationships have been torn apart following a DWI arrest and subsequent conviction.

And it doesn’t really matter where in the Garden State you live, be it Morris, Middlesex, Ocean or Atlantic County, being pulled over and hit with a summons for driving under the influence is no laughing matter, especially to well established and respected members of the community. As New Jersey drunk driving defense attorneys, we have seen how a conviction for driving while intoxicated can impact multiple offenders as well as first-time DWI arrestees.

While most people would agree that a conviction for drug DUI, such as marijuana use, could certainly result in complications at work or school, even a DWI for consuming beer or wine can result in unforeseen consequences. To make things worse, municipalities around the country are looking at social networking sites, such as Facebook, to publish names and photos of drunk driving offenders.

Not only can a DWU or drug DUI conviction be expensive from a financial standpoint but the potential for embarrassment has been elevated now that cities and towns are using the power of the internet to “out” convicted drunken drivers. According to news articles, the trend is likely to increase unless someone takes a stand against the practice.

In Burlington County, NJ, the Evesham Township Police Department had previously attempted to use the Facebook networking site as a vehicle to publish the names and photos of people arrested for drunk driving, among other offenses. According to some experts, this kind of “rogue gallery” of DWI and drug DUI arrestees can reportedly cause serious humiliation, which has stopped some agencies from employing the tactic.

In fact, although Evesham Township still has an active police department Facebook page, according to the news article, four months after it began the county prosecutor told the department that they should curtail the practice because it was not clear if such a use was allowed vis-à-vis what information police are allowed to release about suspects.

Should Facebook Be Used To Fight Drunk Driving?, RedOrbit.com, January 18, 2011