Drunk and impaired driving are issues every state, including California, are concerned with and many are looking for new and unique ways to combat impaired driving. You’ve probably heard of innovative technological advancements aimed at combating impaired driving like ignition lock devices, installed breathalyzers that cannot be bypassed by drivers looking to start their cars, social measures like morgue tours and of course legal measures like increased fines and penalties for drunk driving convictions. One sheriff’s office in Chesterfield, Virginia has a unique new program out there aimed at DUI deterrence: they are posting DUI arrest photos on their website and their public Facebook page.
Proponents of this new course of action believe that the social stigma attached to sharing photos of those arrested for DUIs publicly may be enough of a threat to make people think twice about driving after drinking or using drugs. Indeed, the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office has said that the public response has been “overwhelmingly positive” to this new program of publicly posting DUI mug shots.
It does raise concern among many in the legal field and elsewhere however, because arrests are not the same as convictions. Innocent people do get arrested every day, and as we all should know by now, what goes up onto the internet (generally) stays up on the internet – forever. It is incredibly difficult to truly remove all traces of a picture or information uploaded to the internet, because it can be difficult to determine all the sites which may have linked, spread or shared the original content. So what happens if someone is arrested for DUI and their mug shot is shared on this sheriff’s department Facebook page, they are ultimately acquitted of drunk driving and a year later a prospective employer searches for the prospective employee’s name. What they will find is content that reflects negatively on that prospective employee, even though the employee legally was found innocent. What if it turned out that the person was found afterwards to not even have been intoxicated at all – – that stigma still remains, and may impact that individual for the rest of their lives, for something they did not even do.
The legal and law enforcement communities should be fair and impartial and our laws are based on the presumption that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Programs like this arguably blur that line and that legal presumption. We at Kosnett Law are committed to keeping the law fair and impartial and for aggressively fighting for those that have not been afforded every assumption of innocent when accused of a crime. If you have been arrested for DUI or any other crime, contact us today. It is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal attorney quickly in order to preserve your rights under the law. Our knowledge and experience will get you results. Call us today to schedule your free case consultation and to speak with our experienced and understanding legal staff.