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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Plainview, Long Island woman wants Nassau County's drunken driving 'Wall of Shame' taken down.

Alexandra Bursac, 27, is on that wall and she has filed a legal challenge. Her attorney Brian Griffin called the online gallery of mugshots unconstitutional because his client has pleaded not guilty and has not been convicted of anything.

Griffin said that by posting the names and photos of people who are arrested on drunken driving charges, County Executive Thomas Suozzi is punishing people who have not yet been found guilty of a crime.

Griffin wants Bursac to be removed from the county's Web site immediately.

Suozzi has defended the wall of shame as effective.
A judge is expected to rule soon in the case.

Bursac said the lawsuit has nothing to do with money -- she wants the Web site declared unconstitutional.
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Sorry Ms. Bursac, you should have done your drunk driving in Massachusetts if you wanted to play the victim.

Oh, and the tomato face is a dead giveaway; GUILTY!!
 

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New York County Alters Internet DWI 'Wall of Shame'

By FRANK ELTMAN
Associated Press Writer

MINEOLA, N.Y. --
Motorists charged with drunken driving will no longer be depicted on Nassau County's internet "Wall of Shame" in light of a judge's ruling that posting the arrests on a Web site violates due process.
County Executive Tom Suozzi insists the county is within its rights to distribute the names and photographs of accused drunken drivers but said Tuesday he would wait until suspects are convicted before listing them on the Internet.
Attorneys who represent accused drunken drivers said that is still not acceptable and punishes people beyond what state statutes allow.
Suozzi's announcement came a day after state Supreme Court Judge William LaMarca ruled that announcing the drunken driving arrests before a suspect has a chance to make his case in court violates due process rights.
The judge's ruling applied only to an individual who sued over the policy, but Suozzi conceded it is likely to invite additional lawsuits.
Although he plans to appeal the ruling, Suozzi said the county will now only list those convicted of DWI-related crimes after a trial or plea bargain.
Holding up newspapers trumpeting the arrest of New York Yankees star pitcher Joba Chamberlain on suspected drunken driving charges last weekend in Nebraska, Suozzi took issue with LaMarca's ruling that the Web site creates "limitless and eternal notoriety." He said he fails to see a difference between publication in a newspaper or the Internet.
"The objective of what we're trying to do here is to change the culture that exists related to drunk driving, that it's not just a socially acceptable crime," Suozzi said.
The county initiated the Wall of Shame effort last Memorial Day weekend after a highway patrol officer who had stopped one suspected drunken driver on the Long Island Expressway was struck and seriously injured by a second driver, also suspected of being under the influence.
Since Memorial Day, about 1,400 drivers accused of being under the influence of alcohol have appeared on the county's Web site. Police officials also said DWI-related arrests are up 6 percent over the same period a year ago.
Brian Griffin, an attorney who represented the person who sued the county, said the revised policy still violates state law. Griffin contends that if Suozzi wants to list convicted drunken drivers on the Web site, he will need legislative approval.
He cited a 1995 state Court of Appeals ruling that found a judge was wrong to order a repeat drunken driver to display a "CONVICTED DWI" license plate.
In that ruling, the state's highest court said: "While innovative ideas to address the serious problem of recidivist drunk driving are not to be discouraged, the courts must act within the limits of their authority and cannot overreach by using their probationary powers to accomplish what only the legislative branch can do."
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On the Net:
http://www.nassaucountyny.gov

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