Dodge Co. Sheriff's Office to post OWI mugshots on social media to reduce crashes

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JUNEAU, Wis. (AP) -- The Dodge County Sheriff's Office is implementing a new crash reduction strategy by posting photos of OWI offenders on social media.

Sheriff Dale Schmidt made the announcement on Friday.

According to Schmidt, in 2018, Dodge County had the lowest fatal crash total on record in Dodge County. So far, in 2019, there have been nine fatalities.

The sheriff's office is already implementing speed, stop sign, OWI, seatbelt, and other enforcement initiatives. The sheriff said the new initiative to post OWI offender's photos on Facebook will soon be a new initiative to reduce crashes in the county.

"Since OWI violations continue to be a problem and are a daily danger to the citizens we serve, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office would like to put all potential offenders on notice that we will not tolerate this continued activity," said Schmidt. "Our deputies will not give breaks for OWI and those who choose to violate this law will be held accountable. Furthermore, for those who choose to violate this law, we are going to post on social media all individuals who have been arrested for a violation of this offense. It is always our hope that we can gain voluntary compliance with the law, but if this choice is made, it will become a public choice."

Schmidt said the disclosure of the OWI arrests on Facebook is legal because it is public record. The sheriff's office currently releases names of all arrests through its daily briefings to local media.

Schmidt expects the new strategy to be implemented no later than August 31.

"It is our hope that this effort will save lives so that everyone is able to make it home safely to their families at the end of each day," said Schmidt.