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Huntington Beach nixes plan to post photos of suspected drunk drivers on Facebook

January 19, 2011 | 11:05 am

The Huntington Beach City Council has ordered the police department not to post the names and pictures of people arrested for multiple drunk-driving violations on Facebook.

City Councilman Devin Dwyer asked police officials in November if they would be willing to post information on driving-under-the-influence arrestees on the city's Facebook page because the local newspaper had stopped publishing such listings.

The Huntington Beach Police Department supported the idea, but the City Council decided Tuesday on a 4-to-3 vote to nix the plan.

City Councilwoman Connie Boardman said she appreciated the "creativity" of Dwyer's idea, but publishing the photos would be tantamount to public shaming.

"Repeat drunk drivers, well they're addicts, they're alcoholics," Boardman said at Tuesday's meeting. "And putting their picture on Facebook is not going to stop them from drinking, but what it will do is humiliate their parents and terribly embarrass their children."

Dwyer said Wednesday he was disappointed with the decision.

"I thought it was a great idea," he said. "It gave police another tool in their toolbox to alleviate drunk driving."

His proposal was one of several recent anti-drunk-driving initiatives by city officials.

A city report last year stated there is "a significant DUI problem in Huntington Beach." It cited 274 alcohol-related collisions and 1,687 drunk-driving arrests in 2009 -- one of the highest rates in the state for a city its size.

In 2010, officials banned beer pong and other alcohol games at new establishments.


Huntington Beach considers posting photos of repeat drunk drivers on Facebook page

-- Kate Linthicum