Web Publisher Seeks to Prevent Just One Person from Drinking and Driving

You can understand why you’d spend your time maintaining a website that influences only one person’s behavior – it’s because you’ve influenced one person’s behavior, and perhaps spared the death of someone else by preventing what otherwise would’ve been an alcohol-related car accident.

Ken Rossignol does just that (runs a website called DWI Hit Parade) with “probably 20,000 names and probably pushing a thousand pictures. I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it that hard,” Rossignol says, as Jay Korff reports for ABC 7 News. Rossignol publishes the names and faces of anyone charged with DUI/DWI.

And for Rossignol, it’s personal. His brother was killed by a drunk driver in 1975, after his brother caught a ride hitchhiking. The driver who picked him up had been drinking and apparently ran off the road.

Rossignol’s editorial methods are harsh. He’s what you might call an old-fashioned “muckraker,” going after sensational stories and writing about the people involved, using words like “dirt bag” and “heathen” to describe those who are accused of crimes.

But, in Rossignol’s case, it’s the facts of the stories themselves that make the stories sensational – Rossignol does not add anything to them other than his particular editorial style. When anyone is injured or killed by a drunk driver (or in car accidents that do not involve alcohol) it’s a major loss for everyone involved, from the driver who caused the accident to the driver who didn’t.

As Korff reports, Rossignol says, “This personalizes what is a horrible national tragedy.”

Source: ABC 7 News, “Ken Rossignol takes to the web to expose DWI drivers,” by Jay Korff, 06/30/2011