TORONTO - It’s a battle for your rights.
You, as a driver, have every right to expect that when you get behind the wheel, a drunk or otherwise impaired driver will not careen into you with possibly disastrous results.
That’s a given.
If we, as a society, accept that notion, should we consider this as well?
You, as a driver, have every right to expect that if you are ever charged with an offence, you can look forward to your day in court free of public opprobrium, censure or embarrassment right up until the very moment you stand to face your indictment.
No naming or shaming beforehand. No Internet correspondence entered into. Just the presumption of innocence.
The contest between those competing notions of civil rights is being played out now as Durham Regional Police continue their annual practice of publishing the names of drivers charged at RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) checkpoints.
The details go online at the Durham police website, including an accused’s age and specific allegations.
The belief is that drivers will consider their actions more carefully if they know any charge will result in publication of their alleged crime on the Internet.
The Toronto Sun revealed full details of this annual “name-and-shame” plan Sunday. It provoked a storm of comment and media speculation.
We asked our digital readers the simple question: Do you agree with Durham police posting the names and details of those charged in RIDE?
By yesterday afternoon the sentiment was running at four to one against Durham police.