AZ Wants DUI's in Newspaper

AZcentral.comGroup Wants Names of DUI Offenders
Published by Media

Oct. 8, 2003 11:25 AM

Associated Press

A coalition of law enforcement and traffic safety advocates wants the
Arizona Legislature to pass a law requiring drunken drivers to pay to
have their names published in the local newspaper.

The group plans to push for the law during the next regular
legislative session, which begins in January.

Some lawmakers said they welcome any proposal that helps encourage
people to think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking too
much.

“I want to get those buggers off the streets,” said Sen. Marilyn
Jarrett, R-Mesa, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But others said using the state’s power to force defendants to pay
publishing costs could create an inappropriate commercial relationship
with newspapers.

“If newspapers are publishing the information as a (public) service,
that’s fine,” said House Speaker Pro Tem Bob Robson, R-Chandler. “But
when that becomes an advertisement, it changes the journalistic mission
of a newspaper.”

Some civil libertarians also said they are concerned that publishing
lists of misdemeanor convictions are an undue invasion of a defendant’s
privacy.

Pamela Sutherland, legal director of the Arizona chapter of the
American Civil Liberties Union, said the Internet means media lists
receive much wider attention.

“I think you can see problems arising, for example, if you have
someone wrongly convicted for DUI and wasn’t drunk, who then winds up
having his or her name and image spread all over the state of Arizona,”
Sutherland said.

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