Chicago’s west suburban city of Riverside, Illinois announced last week that it was going to start messaging, on the social media web site Twitter, the names of persons who were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. The idea was to embarrass people who had made that violation, according to CBS on Monday and several other sources previously.
From the report, the city’s chief of police is waiting for a legal opinion on the new policy before enacting it. It is likely legal to go forward as DUI arrests are already published by local newspapers.
Additionally, after the public’s reaction to the announced new policy, Chief Tom Weitzel of Riverside’s Police Department is likely having second thoughts on the new policy. According to the report, about half of the people who have reacted to the new policy via email are opposed to it.
The reports assert that the public would be given a person’s name, age, and hometown or city via Twitter – basically, the same information that is available to the public after a citizen is arrested for a DUI. Local papers are known to publish photos, names, the locality of the violation, as well as the date on which the arrest was made.
While little has been reportedly said about news media reporting DUIs, individual members of the public-at-large are asking: Has the police department’s staff nothing better to do with its time?