Jan. 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM ET
There will be no Facebook shaming of those arrested for driving under the influence by posting their mug shots, the council of a California beach city decided late Tuesday.
While drinking and driving is a huge problem in Huntington Beach, aka "Surf City," the council gave a "no" vote to their colleague's proposal to put repeat offenders' mug shots on the police department's Facebook page.
Devin Dwyer wanted to put the information on the Facebook page, saying before the meeting, "If it takes shaming people to save lives, I am willing to do it ... I'm hoping it prevents others from getting behind the wheel and getting inebriated."
During discussion Tuesday, council member Kevin Bohr said the proposal "might be well-meaning, but it is misguided, misdirected ... It's the wrong tool at the wrong time."
City officials noted that arrest information is already available online via the police department's website.
Council member Connie Boardman was perhaps the most eloquent when she spoke of the repercussions such an action could have.
"I appreciate council members Dwyer's efforts to deal with this serious problem of drunk driving and thinking creatively," she said. "But, "repeat drunk drivers, well ... they're addicts; they're alcoholics, 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.
"Children of alcoholics live in a private hell as it is, and I don't want this city to make it any worse for them," she said. "You know how savvy kids are with Facebook. A picture that appears on the police department's Facebook page is not going to stay there. It's going to be on the home pages and (Facebook) 'walls' of hundreds of kids at the high school or middle school where the children of that alcoholic go. These kids may have real successful in hiding a secret that they're deeply ashamed of, and we've just outed them. And I just don't want to contribute to that."