If you are like many people in Arizona, and elsewhere, you likely have social media accounts on platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Periscope. While these accounts can be useful for keeping in touch with your family and friends, the authorities may also use your posts against you. At The Baker Law Firm, LLC, we are often asked if you can be arrested for drunk driving based on social media posts. In this post, we will discuss the law enforcement’s use of social media as evidence in criminal cases.
Recently, a woman in Florida made national headlines when she was arrested for allegedly live streaming herself driving while under the influence. According to a TODAY.com report, the 23-year-old purportedly posted video of herself at bars, as well as driving home. During the broadcast, the woman allegedly said, “I’m driving home drunk, let’s see if I get a DUI.” Concerned users called 911 and law enforcement used the app to locate the woman. TODAY.com reported that she was charged with DUI after authorities administered field sobriety tests.
This story is just the most recent case of law enforcement using social media against people in their drunk driving cases. A report by the Cable News Network points out that the authorities are able to use anything that you post online as grounds for your arrest, or as evidence in your trial. This includes posts that you delete, as law enforcement may obtain a warrant in order to gain access to deleted posts.
Like others, you may think that your social media posts are safe because you have your privacy settings set to private. However, your friends and acquaintances may have public settings. As such, the authorities may be able to access pictures of you through their accounts. Photos, and other social media posts, may be used to prove that you were intoxicated when you got behind the wheel of a car. Furthermore, as the video of the woman in Florida may be used, your social media posts may show that you knew you had too much to drink before driving.
For more information about drunk driving charges, please visit our DUI and vehicular crimes page.