Bill would name
DUI offenders in papers
By Howard Fischer
CAPITOL MEDIA SERVICES
PHOENIX - Hoping that
embarrassment works where jail does not, a House panel voted unanimously
Monday to set aside money to pay newspapers to run the names of drunken
The provision is part of broader
legislation to re-establish and revamp a special council that divides up
money that comes in from a $250 surcharge on all drunken-driving
HB 2184 spells out who is on the
12-member council. It also requires that 70 percent of the $1.4 million a
year it gets goes to grants to local and tribal law enforcement agencies,
with 20 percent for innovative programs designed to reduce drunken driving.
The final 10 percent is for
administrative purposes - including, if the council wants, money to buy
advertising space in newspapers around the state to list who has been
convicted of driving drunk and their blood-alcohol content.
State lawmakers in the last few
years have tightened up drunken-driving laws in several ways, both in
reducing the amount of alcohol motorists can have in their systems and
increasing the penalty for those convicted.
Rep. Linda Gray, R-Glendale, who
introduced the legislation, said she thinks publication of the names may
provide some deterrent to people driving drunk.
The idea drew the endorsement of
Gary Johnson, a Mesa firefighter whose 41-year-old wife, Robin, was killed
nearly two years ago by a drunken driver.
"The last thing responsible
people with responsible jobs are going to want is to have their names
printed in the paper with their blood-alcohol content," he said.
Proponents said that an informal
survey of those convicted of DUI, done by Mothers Against Drunk Driving,
shows that 50 percent of those who responded said they would not have gotten
behind the wheel if they knew their names would wind up in the paper. The
bill now goes to the House Appropriations Committee.