The practice began in 2005 as a part of the Festive R.I.D.E. program when Durham police began publishing an annual report of individuals charged with impaired driving, exceeding the limit or refusing a blood / breath sample. This was publicized as a service to help deter impaired driving but sparked controversy giving it the nickname “name-and-shame”.
June 7, 2011 the GSPS (Greater Sudbury Police Service) launched a weekly report “Impaired Related Incidents” which details the name, age and description of the individuals charge.
Last year the NRPS (Niagara Regional Police Service) started a weekly “Criminal Impaired Driving Offences” report. NRPS released the first 29 names, ages and hometowns of any individual charged with impaired driving, exceeding the limit or refusing a blood / breath sample on Dec 23, 2013. GSPS and NRPS go one step further by releasing the full list on Facebook and NRPS cross promotes on Twitter.
According to StatsCan 1 in 5 cases of impaired driving are found not guilty. Abby Deshman, of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association told the Toronto Sun “The practice is concerning,” “The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is a cornerstone of our justice system.”
Winnipeg police also started releasing names, ages and cities of suspected drunk drivers during the holiday season in 2007.