While most are familiar with the government using an online database platform to list convicted sex offenders, a couple of recent initiatives are taking this concept in a different direction by using it to list a registry of drunk drivers. The Dallas Observer recently reported that the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee met in late March to discuss HB 133 from state rep Richard Raymond, which proposed the use of a searchable custom online database of anyone who has been convicted of ‘intoxication-related’ offenses.
“Publically shaming convicted sex offenders is nothing new,” the Dallas Observer’s Eric Nicholson wrote. “Relatively few people object to their names and photos being plastered on the internet as a scarlet letter tattooed to their foreheads for all to see. There’s a plausible argument to be made that this helps promote public safety by alerting neighbors and the community to a potential threat. But what about drunk drivers? Do they deserve to bear the same mark of shame as child molesters and rapists?”
Nicholson detailed that DWIs, DWIs with a child passenger, intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter are all offenses that would land a person a spot on the online database.
New Jersey is another state that already has a online drunken driving database in place. However, according to a recent NorthJersey.com article, the database is being challenged by attorney Evan Levow, who has asked the state Supreme Court to clean it up and claims the equipment used to detect alcohol levels are defective. Drunk driving has serious consequences, and these recent developments highlight how the government is taking steps to try to curb the problem and related injuries or deaths.