DUI arrest may lead to Facebook shaming in California

Attached is a link to an article I read this morning titled “Drunk Driving May Lead to Facebook Shaming”  The gist of the article talks about how a city councilman in Huntington Beach, CA wants to post a mug shot on Facebook of any individual with more than 2 DUI arrests.  In the article council member is quoted as saying, “If it takes shaming people to save lives, Im willing to do it,” “Im hoping it prevents others from getting behind the wheel and getting inebriated.”

As a Seattle DUI Attorney, I found this article very disturbing.  Am I in support of people drinking and driving, no Im not.  However if someone chooses to make that decision, then they are entitled to all of the same constitutional rights that everyone else is afforded in our country.  Mistakes happen, and sometime good people make bad decisions.  However everyone has been there, everyone has made a mistake at least once in their lives and most people feel horrible about it afterwards.  I have been a DUI Lawyer for quite some time and I have not once had a client who told me they didn’t feel bad for the decision they made, and they didn’t regret it.  So its not like people don’t recognize the mistake they made.

But the real disturbing part of this proposed idea, aside from the privacy issues this would raise, how about the presumption of innocence.  I found it interesting this article didn’t talk about prior DUI convictions, but only DUI arrests.  So basically if a person is falsely accused of a DUI, then they can face the humiliation and embarrassment that this would cause simply because they were arrested.  Un-freaking-believable!

Matthew A. Leyba | Attorney