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Police collect OWI fines by posting names online

Posted at 6:18 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 11:41:39-05

ASHWAUBENON, Wis.- Ashwaubenon Public Safety are looking for your help.  They've posted a list of names to their Facebook page of people who have outstanding OWI fines that need to be paid.  They're using the social media site to publicly shame convicted drunk drivers in an effort to collect on those unpaid fines.

The tactic is getting mixed reviews from the community.

"I think it's publicly offending to certain people.  Yeah it's just an OWI, I mean they need to pay it, but I don't think it should be publicized," said Nikitta Saldana of Green Bay.
 
Others have a different view like Cole Piechowski of Beaver Dam.  "For people to understand the full circumstances of what they're doing they have to at least some what be embarrassed by it," said Piechowski.
 
For Janet Linet of Kaukauna she says she sees both sides, but definitely thinks posts to social media can put pressure on people.
 
"I think it would probably alter my view on what kind of person they are," said Linet.
 
That peer pressure is exactly what Ashwaubenon Public Safety is looking to do.
 
"If you don't want your name out in public you have two options, either don't drink and drive or pay your fine." said Lieutenant Brian Amenson with Ashwaubenon Public Safety.
 
According to UW-Green Bay social media specialist, Jena Richter the tactic is fairly new.
 
"I've never seen names posted as a means to gather or collect fines," Richter said.
 
She says it's a strategy that could be helpful for officers however.
 
"If you care about your reputation and you want to protect your reputation, chances are you will act," said Richter.
 
Police say this strategy is working for them.  They updated their Facebook post later Wednesday evening saying 3 people had come forward to pay their fines.
Officers say they will be updating the list on social media and taking people's names off as they pay their fines.