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Nassau County: Showing photos of people accused of DWI


Where to find help for alcoholism at the “read more”, or search here at CRDLI/Community Resource Database.

Poems about the DWI photos by Kimberly Wilder here.

Update: The plan starts to unravel (and Suozzi’s politica donors) here.

Another Update: (9-12-2008) Wilderside is proven prophetic –here, as woman with diabetes wrongfully “shamed”

I was trying not to weigh in on this one. I know it is difficult all the way around.

Though, I am tired of seeing politicians and the media trying to shove in my face photos of people accused of DWI.

Is this man running for governor (again)?This is America. People are still innocent until proven guilty. There is no reason to shame people who are first caught up in the system. Sometimes the system pulls in the wrong people.

In addition, like any social ill, the authentic way to deal with the problem of driving while intoxicated is through education and with compassionate, proactive, healing approaches. Throwing the book at a group of people who get caught, and publishing their faces for the fodder mill of entertaining, newspaper and internet “news”, is loathsome. And, it is just a way for politicians to find bad guys to make themselves the good guys compared to. Old trick. Same purpose – name recognition and setting oneself up for the next election cycle.

I feel assaulted for having to look at these people’s photos in a way that is supposed to shame and humiliate them. I am being used. I don’t know if they are innocent. There are machines that malfunction: Could be what happened with the breathalizer one day. There are policemen out there who are bad: They might have blamed someone wrongly. There are stories I have heard of people being thought of as drunk, because they are having diabetic shock symptoms: There could be reasons these people are driving wild. I don’t have time to know and solve all the problems. Therefore, I don’t want to just be a voyeur in this system, and a cog in some politician’s p.r. stunt.

Looking at the faces makes me feel pity and compassion. It is not fun to be caught up in our criminal justice system. I feel bad for anyone – innocent or guilty – who becomes a part of it. Though, maybe showing the photos will wind up having a different, positive effect, despite the politicians’ showmanship. By being confronted with these photos, I have been forced to look into the eyes of the people being put on display. In their eyes, I can imagine the story of why they might suffer from alcoholism, why they might have made a mistake. If people keep it up with these photos, I am going to start donating to local charities who deal with alcoholism. Then, I am going to write a nasty letter to the politicians using the media to personally attack individuals who are already receiving their due punishment (and one hopes rehabilitation) in the system.

Entrapment theory: In the Newsday comments, there was a discussion about was this entrapment. Someone said no, because the government did not set these people up to drive drunk. I say, someone should explore entrapment as a scenario to describe what happened. If one of the drunk drivers is an alcoholic – they have a disability and continue to drink – and there is no public transportation to take them to their work or to their errands, then, maybe you could say that the government set them up for failure. Similar theory to the fact that if the government is not providing enough treatment, and instead, when noticing people in trouble, setting up ways to lock them up.

I do not condone drunk driving. I understand the pain it can cause. Though, if we took all the time and effort someone took to do this campaign in a negative, humiliating way, and spent the same time, effort and money on public transportation as an option and on education and health care for alcoholism, I believe that we would take more drunk drivers off the road. I believe the net result would be much more positive.


Where to find help for substance abuse problems:

Search at CRDLI for words such as “substance abuse” “dependency” or “alcoholism.”

When I am seeking help or advocacy for myself or others, I often start with the Community Resource Database of Long Island. It is an incredible resource. You can use key word searches to hunt thousands of entries of non-profit groups and government agencies throughout Long Island that deal with issues from mental health, to substance abuse, to scholarships. Their web-site says: “Search our database of over 12,000 Health, Human Service and Educational resources on Long Island.”

Nassau County Department of Drug & Alcohol Addiction

I do hope that the Nassau politicians doing the drunk driving publicity stunt, have greatly funded the following department of their government that is supposed to help with substance abuse:

Welcome to the Nassau County Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction (NCDDAA). The department serves the citizens of Nassau County in many ways by targeting issues of chemical abuse, promoting healthy behaviors, and attempting to prevent the start of deleterious actions in our children and youth. Many services are provided directly by the department while others are a result of collaborations with other health and human service agencies, sub-contracts with community and hospital-based agencies, and school prevention programs.

Town of Babylon Department of Human Services/Drug and Alcohol
Phone: (631) 422-7642

Town of Islip Department of Drug and Alcohol Counseling (Access/Acceso)

Town Hall West, 401 Main Street, Islip NY 11751
Phone: (631) 224-5330
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

ACCESS provides alcohol and drug abuse counseling and educational services to Town of Islip residents and their families. ACCESS is a Division of the Town of Islip’s Department of Human Services. Please call the ACCESS office to receive assistance with questions or problems related to alcohol and other drugs.


Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Services

Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services, Inc. is a voluntary, non-profit, organization that offers a comprehensive network of community based services for people diagnosed with psychiatric disabilities, substance abuse, chemical dependencies and other mental health concerns.

Listing for Alcoholics Anonymous at CRDLI
Some phone numbers for local groups

7 Responses

  1. […] this site that lists places for people to turn with help if they have probems with drugs or alcohol here. It includes a link to the Community Resource Database, where you can search for help. And, other […]

  2. This is utterly ridiculous. This site is intended to push on you that this guy is trying to do something. He’s shaming people that could be innocent. Yes, drunk driving should stop, but come on here. You watch… someone gets off and sues for defamation.. You ,now whos picking up that bill. the tax payers.

  3. […] Wilderside commentary on why it is not fair to show photos of people accused of drunk driving: here. […]

  4. […] from a wilderside story (written months before this incident was revealed) Nassau County: Showing photos of people accused of DWI …I feel assaulted for having to look at these people’s photos in a way that is supposed to […]

  5. […] For our wilderside comments on the injustice of the Wall of Shame, and why (Democrat) County Executive Tom Suozzi and (Democrat) Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice are wrong to pursue this project, go here. […]

  6. […] for the Wall of Shame and raised the point about “innocent until proven guilty”, go: here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Nassau County DWI Wall of Shame: Judge rules […]

  7. Someday drunk driving will come to an end. What a glorious day it will be.

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