Riverside Police Department to tweet names of DUI offenders - FOX 35 News Orlando

Riverside Police Department to tweet names of DUI offenders

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Starting next week, getting arrested for DUI in one suburb will cost you more than your license and a fee. You might also feel the pain of shame.

The Riverside Police Department (@PDRiverside) will be using Twitter to identify people they arrest for drunk driving.

The whole idea behind the program is to discourage people from drinking and driving. And with as many arrests are made each year in Illinois clearly the threat of losing your license or paying a hefty fine isn't enough.

So for Riverside, the newest tool is ridicule. With the threat of that kind of exposure and how far and wide that news could spread, police are hoping to reduce what they say is a big problem in their small town.

"So far this year, Riverside, a community of 9,000, has arrested 113 DUI offenders," Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said. "30 percent of those DUI offenders are repeat."

Police will only release the driver's name, age and city, but for those charged with a felony, the mug shot will also get tweeted out.

"We're not just waiting for our weekly local newspapers to come visit us every Monday for our arrests," he continued. "When you bond out of our facility your name will be released on our Twitter account."

The Twitter-shame idea drew some sharp reaction.

"I lost a family member to a drunk driving incident so, where they were the victim, and I think it is important that people do know of offenders like that," LaGrange resident Garrett Gross told FOX 32.

"I think that would be quite effective," Riverside resident Jennie Giammasi added. "On the other hand, DUI is really serious but people make mistakes."

"I think that's an invasion of privacy, you know, to be able to do something like that, should be against the law," said Chicago resident Tyrome Brewer.

The police chief says they are simply releasing the same information they have for years, just on a different platform designed to reach a younger audience and discourage drinking and driving.

"We used to put them out on our webpage, well, the younger 18, 19, 20, 21-year-olds weren't going to our webpage, but they all have twitter accounts," Weitzel explained.

Riverside's first tweets will post on Monday, unless of course they make no DUI arrests this weekend because the fear of shame had drivers steering clear.

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