New Mexico Calls in MADD to Analyze DUI Punishments

James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse

Can the use of social media to post pictures like mug shots and the sentences DUI drivers received help to decrease DUI driving? Could it help to promote harsher sentencing for those convicted of DUI? New Mexico is entering a new program that might find out.

Susana Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico, said that the group will send the details of sentencing to state officials. These state officials will identify repeat offenders and judges in Tweets.

The program is similar in others nationwide attempting the shaming of repeat offenders. However, including judges in the social media posts is receiving backlash.

MADD received a two-year contract worth $800,000 to attend hearings in at least five New Mexico counties. All of these counties have been hit hard by drunk driving arrests and deaths.

New Mexico police departments will join other police departments nationwide in posting the booking photos of individuals accused of DUI. Officials state that they hope this will help to curb drunken driving incidents.

Civil liberty advocates state that such postings by law enforcement groups unfairly prosecute suspects in the media before they have received due process in court.

Democratic state representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas called the program unethical. He believes it will place pressure on judges to hand out harsher sentences despite the facts.

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