The police department of Riverside, Illinois, announced last week that it will begin tweeting the names of people who have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
“I’m hoping that seeing these names, and seeing the amount of arrests that Riverside makes, will send a message,” said Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel.
The decision comes at a time when officers are seeing an increase of drunk drivers on the streets according to Weitzel.
The social media move is intended to target people under the age of 30 who, according to Weitzel, account for the majority of drunk driving arrestees and the majority of the department’s Twitter following. The department’s Twitter account, @pdriverside, was created about six weeks ago.
In addition to tweeting the names, ages, and city of residence of DUI arrestees, Riverside officers will also tweet the information of drivers who are arrested for illegal drug use and drivers who arrested with a suspended or revoked license.
Question: Will the Riverside Police Department provide follow-up tweets if the person is found not guilty or if their case is dismissed? Doubtful.
Rather, the Riverside police would rather ignore the fundamental principle that people are innocent until proven guilty by stigmatizing DUI arrestees before they are even found guilty.