British police are publicly shaming drunk drivers through Twitter

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They’re cruising the streets for embarrassing tweets. It’s no secret that every year, the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol shoots up around Christmas. As part of its yearly crackdown, police in Sussex and Surrey are taking to Twitter to document the alcohol-related arrests they make on the road. Each snippet mentions where and when the motorist was pulled over, but also, more importantly, their name if they’re eventually charged. Those who were stopped last year aren’t getting off lightly either; officers are reportedly putting up posters to show exactly where motorists were caught over the limit.

Motorists charged with driving under the influence of drink or drugs in Sussex and Surrey will be “named and shamed” on Twitter. Throughout December, police will tweet details of those accused, including where and when they were stopped. As part of the Christmas anti drink-driving campaign, posters of those stopped last year will be put up where they were arrested. In December 2013, 2,011 people were arrested for the offence in Sussex. So far 135 of them have been convicted, with another five still going through the court system, Sussex Police said. Extra time is being set aside at Crawley Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex to deal with those charged from Monday when the campaign is launched. Sgt Jane Derrick said: “There is often a delay of a matter of weeks between an individual being charged and them appearing in court. “But these slots mean those charged with offences early in December could be dealt with by magistrates and banned from the roads in time for Christmas.” In January, the Information Commissioner’s Office said it would take no action against Staffordshire Police following a complaint about its tweets naming drivers charged with drinking and driving.

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