British Columbia already has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the country, but would naming and shaming alleged impaired drivers act as an even stronger deterrent?
In Ontario, the Durham Regional Police Service has taken to publishing the names of those accused of driving under the influence.
Bob Rorison, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Metro Vancouver, thinks it’s time authorities in B.C. consider a similar strategy.
“If public shaming will work and it’s legal, let’s use it,” he said.
WATCH: Ontario police posting alleged drunk drivers names on the web
Defence lawyer Paul Doroshenko has concerns about naming people suspected of driving under the influence, since under the law they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“More innocent peopled are charged with that offence than any other offence in the country,” he said. “There are a lot of innocent people who go through that process of being charged with that offence.
“Should they be stigmatized as well by the police going out and publishing their names and publicizing it? I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
Social media analyst Jesse Miller said even if a suspect is found not guilty in court, posting charges online means an innocent person could face a different verdict in the court of public opinion.
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“The scary part here is that once you do publish something online, it is part of their dossier online for the rest of their lives,” he said. “How do you directly impact their career?”
In a statement to Global News, the Ministry of Public Safety said:
“British Columbia’s tough drinking and driving penalties take alcohol-affected drivers off the road immediately and are a serious financial deterrent.
“Public humiliation is not considered an effective way to change behaviours around drinking and driving.”
– With files from Rumina Daya