Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Your Rights Online

Shame: Drunk Drivers Published Online 61

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-lousy-ebayers dept.
Shiifty writes "In a related story to the recent slashdot story on Maine's online sex offender registry, an article in the Toronto Star discusses how 'shaming' people by publishing their names online will deter them from drinking and driving. Durham Police in the Toronto Area recently published online the names of those charged with drinking and driving in last week's R.I.D.E. program. This isn't something new, as local papers frequently publish names of those charged with criminal offences, and last year a Name and Shame campaign in the Medway Today published the pictures of those who were twice the legal limit on the front page. In Arizona, lawmakers are considering a bill that would require drunken drivers to pay for an advertisement in the local newspaper that displays their name and conviction."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Shame: Drunk Drivers Published Online

Comments Filter:
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @09:53PM (#7614599) Homepage Journal
    In Arizona, lawmakers are considering a bill that would require drunken drivers to pay for an advertisement in the local newspaper that displays their name and conviction.
    And in Florida, lawmakers are considering a bill that would require spammers send out millions of unsolicited emails advertising their name and conviction...
    • And in Florida, lawmakers are considering a bill that would require spammers send out millions of unsolicited emails advertising their name and conviction...

      Is this true? I kinda like that idea, it seems fitting at least (although seems a bit counterproductive)
  • by kurosawdust (654754) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @09:57PM (#7614623)
    Can't you shame someone enough by just searching google groups for their usenet posts from when they were 16?

    "Mr. Schwartz, your blood alcohol level is .05 over the legal limit - I'm afraid we'll be publishing your posts to alt.games.counterstrike in the newspaper."

    "No, not those! I was just a n00b!"

  • offender registry.

    For one, only the names, ages, and hometowns of the convicts are being published.

    This kind of information is public record anyway, I don't see what the big deal is.
    • This kind of information is public record anyway, I don't see what the big deal is.

      The big deal is that inaccurate data can be the difference between someone getting a job or loan and not. As we rush headlong into putting more information into more hands, I think we have an obligation to create an environment where accuracy is prized and inaccuracies are corrected and harm resulting from those inaccuracies is righted.

      As we move data like this online we have a golden opportunity to review its accura

  • Oh whaaa.... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Tell me, if some drunk person started firing a gun towards a crowd of people, and was caught, do you think the newspapers would publish his name? Damn right they would.

    Some drunk driving a car is just as dangerous.

    You get drunk, get in a car, and go for a drive... and risk MY life.

    And what, you want pity from me? Fuck off.
  • Isn't that... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Josh Booth (588074)
    ...cruel and unusual punishment? I thought that once you paid your debt to society, whether by forfeiture of property, money, or time (in prison), you were done. Now it seems that the want to punish people beyond the usual sentance simply because the law doesn't explicitly prohibit it. That seems unfair.
    • Re:Isn't that... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @10:57PM (#7614968) Homepage Journal
      ...cruel and unusual punishment?
      Well, modern day pillorying isn't unheard of amongst more radical judges in the US who'll be quite happy to have someone stand at the side of the road wearing a billboard describing their offenses. As far as I'm aware, this hasn't been ruled unconstitutional, but it hasn't been tested.

      I doubt SCOTUS is going to outlaw publishing names of miscreants in newspapers. This is established practice anyway, the major difference here is that the court is going to force offenders to foot the bill, and fining offenders isn't new either...

      I thought that once you paid your debt to society, whether by forfeiture of property, money, or time (in prison), you were done.
      Well, not exactly. In addition to being considered part of "paying your debt to society", this is also part of the well established post-direct-punishment regime. People who serve their sentences generally still suffer afterwards - prospective employers, for example, will expect to be able to find out felonies and misdemeanors committed by prospective employees in recent years. So, no, there isn't a "you're done" aspect that this undermines.
      Now it seems that the want to punish people beyond the usual sentance simply because the law doesn't explicitly prohibit it. That seems unfair.
      It would be unfair if this were retroactive, or if this was excessive. I'm not going to comment on the latter, but on the former, as I understand it, this is being passed as a law going forward. You only have to be concerned if you intend to break the law after it is passed, by which time you should know what the consequences are.

      I'm a liberal. I support Amnesty International (though this comment shouldn't be read as stating a position AI would agree or disagree with.) I find the death penalty objectionable. If prisons are anything close to their reputation, I find their continued promotion repugnant. But I also have to say that this type of law does not strike me as extreme, cruel, or unusual. Indeed, to a certain extent, I'm glad a legislature is looking at alternative ways to make sentences for crimes harsher, rather than adding years to prison terms.

      Unquestionably this punishment will act as a deterent. It's going to hit the wallet, and it's going to be embarassing. But it also will not destroy someone's employment opportunities, their finances, their families, or put them in physical danger - in short, it will punish, not destroy someone.

    • After all, we are talking about risk management. If people can't keep themselves safe, then we have to help them [within reason, of course]. Remember, if the drunk driver kills someone, then most often it lasts forever. So, it's not unreasonable to have to serve capital punishment, or to mar his reputation. Part of the debt he pays to society is taking punishment with his reputation.

      A reputation is worth more than silver & gold, or driving drunk @ a million miles per hour. If people can't grasp that co
  • "Charged" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <[mdinsmore] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @10:12PM (#7614713) Homepage Journal

    These people were simply "charged", and not convicted of the crime. If you charge me, print my name in the paper, and I am found "Not Guilty"--I'm going to sue you for defamation of character and slander. Sure, the article truthfully recounts that these people were simply "charged"--but I'll bet you that I could argue that there is no difference in perception or the repercussions that'll be felt by me.

    OTOH, I have no issue with convicted lawbreakers being made public. But too often the line is crossed between "deliberated upon by a Jury of my Peers, and found Guilty" and "cop didn't like my looks".
    • I was astonished to be a victim of precisely "cop didn't like my looks". I was driving my big, expensive BMW wearing jeans and a geek T-shirt. Pulled onto the Motorway (Highway) behind a police car and over take him. Next thing I know, I'm being pulled over. The reason I was pulled over ? Because, and this is what the cop said, if the police car hadn't been there I would have been speeding !!! Not that I had been speeding (I didn't) but because if he hadn't been there I would have been.

      I regret to this da

    • These people were simply "charged", and not convicted of the crime. If you charge me, print my name in the paper, and I am found "Not Guilty"--I'm going to sue you for defamation of character and slander.

      Loophole: you would be found "not guilty", but not "innocent". Still enough bile for the public to chew on to have you 'punished'.
      • Well I charge you of molesting and raping very young children and savagely murdering them, as well as listening to Britney Spears music.

        Oh by the way you may not be guilty.
        • Note to mods: it's occured to me that my above comment might appear as flamebait, but I'm trying to make a rather valid point. Being found 'not guilty' is a perfectly acceptable justification for you to have the right not to have your reputation smeared. It'd be awful nice if you didn't mod it down.
        • Well I charge you of molesting and raping very young children and savagely murdering them, as well as listening to Britney Spears music.

          I'll have you know that I've never listened to Britney, and I have several highly-paid expert witnesses prepared to testify on my behalf.

    • I wonder if this might change "don't like the way you look" policies -- cops coming under pressure to arrest a more diverse crowd -- or just reinforce stereotypes.

      Now, if they published the names and pictures of people who were found not guilty of drunk driving (after publishing them when they were charged), I wonder how that would change things.
  • Drunks have no shame (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mbstone (457308) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @10:29PM (#7614797)
    What, publishing the names of convicted (I hope) DUI offenders will deter them? Fat chance. Whoever thought this one up enjoys the good fortune not to know any alcoholics.

    For example, here's a story from today's wires about a 74 year-old who has amassed over 400 DUI arrests:

    ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) -- A 74-year-old Anderson man who's been arrested at least 400 times for drunken driving was sentenced Monday to 17 years in prison for his latest drunken driving conviction.


    Virldeen Redmon was arrested in July for driving even though his license had been suspended for life.

    His latest conviction was on charges of driving while intoxicated, endangering a person and driving while suspended.

    Police have been arresting Redmon since 1947, including three times since June. He's had his driver's license suspended for life five times.

    In 1996, a judge sentenced Redmon to 9-1/2 years in prison. That sentence was reduced in 2001 and he was released after a doctor testified that Redmon suffers from health problems.
    • by barzok (26681)
      Suspension/revokation does nothing. It can't stop the person from driving. Chaining him to his house might.

      The system really blew it with that guy. How he was allowed to go 50 years before being imprisoned long-term for repeat offenses boggles the mind.

    • ...that there should be a new criminal charge created called 'Attempted Vehicular Manslaughter' designed specifically for Drunks. If you are a repeat offender, it's off to prison for you for a good 8 to 10 years.

      For a first time offense, with no priors, you get a slap on the wrist and probation, but you still carry having been charged with attempted vehicular manslaughter.

      This kind of charge may stop the occasional drunk from getting behind the wheel, it won't stop those that don't care, but then
      • Is it really anyone's place to decide what kind of person we have in society? That generally sounds elitist to me.
        • So, you are saying that it's elitist for the vast majority of society to decide that certain individuals, based upon past behaviours, should be removed from society...

          Hmm... That's funny. I always thought it was prudent to lockup those that have and will continue to cause murder and mayhem upon greater society by being left to their own devices...

          Ooooh... Wait a minute... you must be one of those Fresh out of Liberal College kids... Wake up and take a look at reality.
  • by Yohahn (8680) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @10:37PM (#7614839) Homepage
    I'm sick and tired of the "retrabution" method of "rehabilitation".

    Most alcoholics are sick people. They should receive therapy not shame. They will receive shame enough, especially if they killed somebody in the process of abusing.

    Punishment may be appropriate too, but come on, deal with the problem. If a drug addict is caught, they must undergo therapy.

    Now, incarseration until they are willing to cooperate with detox/treatment would be a good idea.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because that's how many elected someone who drove drunk [google.com] as leader of the free world.

      • I hope you never want to run for political office or get involved in something where politics are heavy (higher corp. management, university prof, etc.).

        Since you believe that it's not possible to atone for things you did decades ago, after all.
      • Umm... dude. He admitted it. He said it was wrong. The more important part: He stopped doing it, and at that stopped a long time ago. I believe you would be hard pressed to find anyone of legal adult status who has not at some point committed a misdemeanor, if not a felony. Only difference is, most people don't get caught.

        Now get over the whole "Bush did something stupid while he was young" kick already, mmmmkay? Or must I remind you that Gore claimed he invented the internet, and Clinton screwed a
  • by ciaran_o_riordan (662132) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @10:38PM (#7614843) Homepage
    Okay, so we have sex-offenders and over-the-limit drivers. If this is a good idea for two crimes, it follows that it might be a good idea for others.

    Maybe this should be extended to:
    Corporations convicted of tax evasion
    Police that assault members of the public
    Politicians convicted of area re-zoning or taking back handers.

    If it's good enough for the public, why isn't it good enough for the law makers? the law enforcers? and the "Legal People"/Corporations?

    This reminds me of lawyers advocating software patentability, but they'd never suggest that "legal innovations" should be patentable.
  • ...but you should know that I've been drinking...
  • by Jerf (17166) on Tuesday December 02, 2003 @11:14PM (#7615060) Journal
    I would consider forcing somebody to fund an advertisement saying, well, anything to be a violation of thier free speech. Free speech includes the choice to not speak. For instance, the fifth amendment.

    Come to think of it, it's a violation of the spirit of the fifth amendment too, if perhaps not technically the letter.
    ...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,...
    You could read that as one can not be forced to "witness" against one's self (which being forced to proclaim to all their guilt could be considered) as part of the "trial" (including punishment) as being protected here.

    Really, this strikes me as a bad idea over all. "Innovation" in punishment is something that should generally be discouraged, and held to a very high standard.
    • You know, I doubt many Canadians would be able to use fifth (or first) ammendment reasoning to get out of this proposed punishment, considering that in Canada, the US Constitution doesn't apply.
    • I would consider forcing somebody to fund an advertisement saying, well, anything to be a violation of thier free speech.

      The suspect isn't the one doing the speaking: the police department is (with their words). The suspect is merely paying for the ad as an additional fine. It's actually kind of dumb to me: the police department could just add, say, $50 to the fine that would cover the cost of the ad and then the suspect would be paying for the ad indirectly.

      Come to think of it, it's a violation of

    • I would consider forcing somebody to fund an advertisement saying, well, anything to be a violation of thier free speech. Free speech includes the choice to not speak. For instance, the fifth amendment.

      I think something like this would be worked out in a deal by the DA to avoid a trial, considerable legal costs, and jail.

      Sort of like the RIAA's "You downloaded illegal MP3s -- Give us $3000 and Sign This Form".

  • by Phleg (523632)
    I thought we'd done away with the stockade punishment.

    The further we head into the future, the more we do the same things we did in the past.
    • >> I thought we'd done away with the stockade punishment.

      An action which has done more to divorce a criminal from resposibility for his crime than any other.

      Bring the "stockade" back and crime would drop dramatically. It doesn't have to be a stockade. Simply a holding cell with thick glass walls that passersby can see into.
  • If they're forced by the law to pay for the advertisment in the local paper, if I was the local paper I'd raise the ad rates very, very high.
  • I thought that the Scarlet Letter was just a really bad old book, not reality...
  • I think that the government should make all human driven vechiles outlawed. The cars should drive you from point A to point B and decide on the safest course and speed there. You shouldn't even have to pay any car insurance other than theft because it is all on the car manufactur if it has an accident. Humans don't make good drivers. We get drive drunk, drive while talking on the phone, drive while talking/yelling at the kids in the back sit, drive while eating, drive while nearly falling asleep, drive w
  • If you're caught and convicted of driving drunk, take the license away for (at least) 5 years! I know this is how it works in some European countries (I want to say Sweden or Norway...), so why don't we do it here? Yes, we're Americans, married to our cars, etc. But if you knew you could lose your license for 5 years if you got caught, I'm sure that would more than deter most every person who spins the wheel from driving drunk.

    Last time I checked, having a license to drive a car was a privelige, not a rig

  • Has no one heard of this site [thesmokinggun.com]? It seems there is no law a celeb can break without making it there. Why is it a big deal to do this to non-celebs?

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.

Working...