Police Departments are Starting to Tweet DUI Arrests

While police blotters in the newspaper have been around for years, it seems that some police departments are taking the concept even farther and will be tweeting the names of those arrested for DUI.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Riverside Police Department is embarking on this new process, tweeting the names, ages and where an individual resides, in hopes of what can be perceived as actually shaming people into stopping the commission of a DUI and other driving and drug offenses.

As younger drivers often account for the larger percentage of those arrested for these specific crimes, and also those who tweet, the police are working to reach these individuals before the crime happens.

Some may see this as a well-needed tool, to help remind people not to drink and drive, unless they want to be publicly "outed" for an arrest, and others may cringe at the more public and accessible outing of an individual who is deemed innocent before proven guilty. It is, after all, one thing to go look in a newspaper on your own time to learn who was arrested in your area, and another to have that information made public to those who before would never have known. Newspapers aren't as searchable by name, and are normally disseminated only to the local community. Twitter has the potential to reach far outside local jurisdictions.

Even worse, with the increasing popularity of "googling" people by name, this may be one more embarrassing result that could appear in the searches. This might make it nearly impossible to hide the fact the person had been arrested in the past regardless of whether they ultimately won their case.

Regardless of your feelings on the subject, the information is becoming more accessible and it is likely that whether it is tweeted or written in a paper, people will learn about your arrest, whether you are innocent or guilty.

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