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Published:November 26th, 2009 18:25 EST

Honolulu Cops Post DUI Mug Shots Online

By Robert Paul Reyes

"The Honolulu Police Department Wednesday began to post photos on its Web site of drivers suspected of drunken driving. In conjunction with its other traffic safety programs, the department inaugurated the program this week in advance of the holiday, when more drunken driving arrests are usually made.
 
`We are posting the photos to show that a drunken driver is not necessarily a known criminal,` said Maj. Thomas Nitta, head of the traffic division for the Honolulu Police Department. `It could be your relative, your friend, your co-worker.`"
 
 
This isn`t an attempt at rehabilitation or deterrence, it`s an attempt to humiliate drivers suspected of DUI.
 
The Honolulu Police Department is making  a mockery of our cherished principle of "innocent until proven guilty." Before the suspects have had their day in court, they are publicly humiliated.
 
What if it turns out that a breathalyzer malfunctioned and a suspect is innocent -- his mug shot will live forever in cyberspace.
 
A police spokesperson argues: We are posting the photos to show that a drunker driver is not necessarily a known criminal. Duh, he may not even be a criminal at all.
 
Somebody in Honolulu needs to get in touch with the ACLU!
 
Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes