Tuesday, November 23, 2010

City of Huntington Beach to post DUI arrests on Facebook?

The local newspaper in Huntington Beach has stopped posting the names of DUI suspects. Now the police department is considering posting the names of those arrested for DUI on the city's Facebook page.

The intention behind the idea is to make people think twice about getting behind the wheel after drinking. The city is hoping that the public humiliation will convince you to call a taxi.

The Los Angeles Times reports, "A July report by the city said there is "a significant DUI problem in Huntington Beach," citing 274 alcohol-related collisions and 1,687 drunk-driving arrests last year — one of the highest rates in the state for a city its size."

What do you think about this new idea to cut down on drinking and driving? After all DUI arrest records are public information, but do they have to the right to broadcast it on its social media page like an advertisement?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Monday August 16, 2010 Huntington Beach City Council approved the Emergency Services Cost Recovery Program. It is expected to generate a $100,000 in revenue for Surf City.

With the recovery program, non-Huntington Beach residents who cause an accident will now be billed up to $3,000 for emergency response being dispatched.

Surf City residents are exempt from the fee because they already pay taxes that go toward the emergency response services. The fees would be billed to the responsible party’s insurance company or the individual if they don’t have insurance.

Fees vary depending on the type of resource needed. For example:
$2,000 if the Jaws of Life are used
$750.00 for a car fire
$405.00 an hour for each fire truck that responds to the scene

Huntington Beach isn’t the first city in Orange County to adopt the recovery program. Fullerton, Garden Grove, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana have similar laws.

As a Huntington Beach blogger and resident I’m divided on this issue. As a resident I can understand why our city wants to recoup some of the costs. We are a tourist city flooded with visitors. It’s estimated that approximately 300 non-residents get into auto accidents each year in Huntington. At the same time, these visitors are generating revenue, buying goods, eating at our restaurants, and providing jobs for us. Will this new law detour visitors from coming to our wonderful city? Are we all going to experience an increase in auto insurance rates if other cities in the county and state adopt similar programs?

What are your thoughts……?