Long Beach DUI and Huntington Beach Dilemma: Should Busted Drivers be Outed on Facebook?

One of the biggest debates roiling the Southern California DUI community today concerns whether or not Huntington Beach was correct in rejecting a proposal that would have allowed police to post mug shots of DUI offenders on Facebook. Last Tuesday, the Huntington City Council voted down this “shaming proposal” proposed by city council member Devin Dwyer.huntington-beach-dui-facebook.jpg

If you or someone you care about has recently gotten a Padadena DUI, Burbank DUI, Glendale DUI, or Los Angeles DUI, you are almost certainly at least peripherally aware of the Huntington Beach City Council debate. Indeed, Time Magazine did a major story on the Facebook shaming proposal last week. As Time journalist Allie Townsend reports, “Huntington Beach does have a serious problem: drunk driving is something of a community epidemic… where more than 1,600 of the 200,000 people (in Huntington Beach) were arrested in 2010, according to the AP.”

Townsend argues eloquently that the kind of public humiliation proposed by Dwyer would not be a good idea. It’s not that she has excessive sympathy for people who willfully break the law; rather, she fears (rightly so) that Facebook DUI mug shots could be passed around. They could haunt not only the offender but also the offender’s family and children for years to come. For instance, a middle schooler may face long-term taunting if his dad’s DUI mug shot winds up on Facebook.

Moreover, when you are arrested for DUI, you are often quickly judged “guilty” in the minds of colleagues, friends and family. Deeper analyses of Long Beach DUI arrests, however, reveal that DUI busts are often far from justified and far from conclusive.

Consider the following. A Long Beach breathalyzer test – commonly referred to as a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test – indirectly quantifies how much alcohol you have in your system. If you are above a certain amount – typically 0.08% BAC – you can be arrested and charged pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (b).

Breath tests seem like they should work. But they are far less accurate than most people – including most police officers – realize. Men and women process alcohol at different rates. Diabetics produce unusual chemicals on their breath; these chemicals can interfere with test results. And if you blow too deeply into the machine, you may wind up with a Long Beach DUI reading without actually being DUI. And it goes on and on like this.

So what’s the best response?

In short, defendants should equip themselves with excellent information and consult immediately with a qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. In Long Beach, you can connect with the Kraut Law Group at 444 West Ocean, Suite 800 Long Beach, California 90802 phone 562-531-7454.

Attorney Kraut stands out among Los Angeles DUI attorneys because he is a former prosecutor, because he is a respected maven in the LA DUI community; and because he has demonstrated superlative results for his clients again and again, often in highly technical and complicated cases.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Long Beach or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.

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