Do you like to be tweeted about? Do you like driving drunk? If you answered "yes" (or just gave a drunken head-nod) to both, then you're in for a treat: Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon is tweeting the names of folks charged with DWI this holiday season.
"The number one crime -- most committed crime in Montgomery County -- and the crime that's the biggest threat to the people of Montgomery County, is DWI," Chief Vehicular Crimes Prosecutor Warren Diepraam told Hair Balls. "So, we lose many more people -- innocent lives -- to drunk drivers or reckless drivers...when compared to all other weapons combined. So it's a significant problem, and the DA wanted to come up with as many possible tactics to try to get the message out about the dangers of drinking and driving."
Diepraam doesn't have grandiose expectations of Twitter wiping out all DWI arrests in the county -- he just says it's part of an overall county campaign to get people to be more cautious. He says the DA's Office plans to post names during "no refusal" periods, where motorists who refuse to blow the breathalyzer are subject to search warrants for blood samples.
"I've receiveved questions...to the effect of, 'Well, are you trying to shame individual people?'" Diepraam said. "I think that one of the benefits of it is, is that it might make people think twice before committing the offense of DWI. If...we make people think, 'Montgomery County, that's that place that's got all that new DWI equipment, that's the place where police officers get blood samples, that's the place where they post our names on Twitter. Maybe I'll just call a taxi.' If people get that perception about Montgomery County, and how seriously we take DWI, then I think it'll be a success. But, you know, the intent is not to embarrass somebody. They embarrass themselves by committing the offense of DWI."
If a subsequent case is dismissed, or the defendant is found not guilty, their name will be removed from the Twitter page, Diepraam said.
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Maybe those folks should celebrate with a drink and a drive.....