Just when you thought the criminal penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) were bad enough—now states are introducing programs designed to embarrass DWI offenders. If you have recently been arrested for drinking and driving, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced defense lawyer. A skilled lawyer can help you avoid the penalties and embarrassment that come along with a DWI charge
You have probable heard of a sex offender database. These databases are available online, and allow searchers to find the location and address of sex offenders in their neighborhood. Many states are expanding on the idea, introducing registries for gun offenders and methamphetamine manufacturers.
Now one state has even created an online database for DWI offenders. The site allows people to perform a search or pull a list of all of the offenders who were convicted within a selected year.
In one county, the identities and mug shots of more than 80 people who were arrested on suspicion of DWI were published. Authorities said that this was done to shame other drivers into staying sober behind the wheel. However, publishing the names and photographs of convicted offenders is much different than publicly embarrassing someone who was merely accused of a crime. One report even showed that the public shaming was not an effective DWI deterrent.
Even if the public humiliation occurs only after a DWI conviction, there is no evidence to show that it is an effective deterrent, or that it reduces the number of drunk drivers on the road. Instead, DWI embarrassment makes it harder for people to go on with their lives and become productive members of society. This is especially troubling, as many DWI offenders have never been in trouble with the law before.
DWI embarrassment can also make it harder for offenders to find future employment, as more and more employers require a clean driving record or criminal background checks.
A DWI conviction can lead to life-altering consequences. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney who knows the laws in your area. Your attorney can help you determine the best course of action to take in your case in order to avoid DWI penalties and embarrassment.