Police in Huntington Beach, California are considering a new tactic in the fight against drunk driving–Facebook.

Recently, the surf town just south of Los Angeles was ranked as the top spot in the state for alcohol-related traffic fatalities, and they don’t like it. In an effort to curb repeat offenders, Huntington Beach officials want to post the mug shots of drivers who have been caught driving under the influence more than once. They are hoping that public shame will serve as a wake-up call for drivers not to drive drunk.

“If it takes shaming people to save lives, I am willing to do it,” said Devin Dwyer, a city councilman who proposed the new effort. “I’m hoping it prevents others from getting behind the wheel and getting inebriated.”

The debate over the city’s right to post drivers’ mug shots has been very heated. Many argue that posting images of the drivers is a violation of the privacy and negates that face that individuals are innocent until proven guilty. Also, the police are worried about alienating the city’s residents and don’t think public shaming is apart of their job description.

“It will have a negative impact on relations with the community, the police department and city officials,” Randall Bertz, a former police officer turned lawyer, told The Associated Press. “What’s next, will they have drunk drivers walk around with sandwich boards? Will it be public flogging?”

Initially councilman Dwyer wanted to post the mug shots of everyone caught drunk driving , but lack of support made him back off of that aggressive idea. He is now hoping to gain support for his proposal by only publically shaming repeat offenders.

Huntington Beach, dubbed “Surf City” by locals, is known for its relaxed vibe, pristine beaches, and lively bar scene. However, the city also aggressively enforces its drunk driving laws, and in 2009 arrested 1,687 people for driving under the influence.

Despite its aggressive stance against drunk driving, however, in 2009, 195 people were either killed or injured by drunk drivers and Dwyer hopes to change that with his proposal.

What side of the debate do you fall on? Should the Huntington Beach post drunken drivers’ photos on Facebook? Sound off!

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  • dvine

    not on FB.. i think it’s gonna make them targets.. hell they don’t post pedophiles, rapists, or murders pics on there so why drunk drivers.. when they start posting the others that i listed than add the drunks to bunch..

  • sloane

    @dvine- while i do agree with you on some level, it doesn’t take away from the fact that these people are REPEATEDLY getting in 3,000 lbs of metal endangering everyone’s lives. one of these people could kill or maim someone someday. if they don’t want to be shamed they should stop driving drunk.

    • Shon

      On a certain level, I’m in agreement however I don’t believe this will shame people to the level that one would stop drinking and driving. Especially if you are a habitual offender. In certain states they give drunk drivers a certain license plate so those on the road with you know that you are a drunk driver however people still drink and drive.

      Nonetheless, I agree with dvine start with those she mentioned first.

  • bgirl

    i don’t know how i feel about this .. drunk driving scares me- I’m all for lowering that. but idk maybe they should wait til ppl are proven guilty. bc you know how crazy it gets online!

  • African Mami

    Is this the only solution they thought would be effective. Well I have a damn solution for them. There are countless number of college graduates working less than minimum wage jobs as they await the right opportunity. Hire one of the many to come up with less intrusive but innovative ways (since that’s the route they seem to be taking) of restoring sanity. They should stop the madness. Facebook is a networking site, not a damn mug shot site!