With the proliferation of the internet, and social media in particular, the way in which most Americans communicate has changed drastically over the last decade. Instead of having to write letters, or even make several phone calls to share the news of the day, all one has to do is sign on to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to tell everyone at once. What people often forget, however, is that you are also potentially telling the entire world, including law enforcement agencies, your “news of the day.” If that news is related to driving under the influence (DUI), you may have just inadvertently convicted yourself of DUI. Before you hit the “post” button on a social media post, stop and think about what you are disseminating and whether it could get you arrested warns an Omaha DUI lawyer.
The Rise of Social Media
Although anyone under the age of about 30 may find it difficult to believe, prior to the turn of the 21st century, the concept of “social media” didn’t exist. As the internet grew at (literally) the speed of light, new ways of communicating were born. First, there was email. Instead of waiting on snail mail to communicate with friends, relatives, and business associates, email allowed you to instantly communicate with people all over the world. Not long after that, “chat rooms” became the rage. Groups of people could get together in a computerized chat room and discuss common interests. It wasn’t until social media exploded across the internet, however, that the real change occurred in our method of communicating. Facebook, in particular, changed everything. Today, almost everyone from ten to 100 has a Facebook account. The older generation has learned that if they want to know what the grandkids are up to, they better learn how to use Facebook. The younger generation, in the never-ending quest for more immediate gratification, has embraced social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Regardless of which one is used, all of them potentially disseminate posts, photos, and even videos to the general public. When the subject of those posts relates to partying, as they often do, it can provide law enforcement with exactly what they need to make an arrest and secure a conviction for DUI.
Social Media Posts Lead to DUI Arrests
By definition, social media is used to socialize. People post photos of their night on the town, including what they are wearing, where they are going, and what they are drinking (or smoking, snorting, etc.). Sometimes they count on privacy settings to keep the posts from being disseminated to the general public, but often they don’t even bother since it only takes one “share” for those privacy settings to become worthless. What people don’t think about is that post about how much you had to drink, followed by a post indicating you are driving home, effectively acts as an admission that you are driving under the influence. It gets worse though. For example, a Michigan woman was recently arrested after being involved in a drunk driving collision, after which she drove to a nearby hotel and used the hotel computer to post about the crash on her Facebook page. When the police arrived, the hotel computer was still open to her Facebook account, providing them with a running narrative of what happened. An Ohio man was arrested a couple of years ago after posting a video of himself while driving drunk to his Facebook page. Someone alerted the local sheriff’s office and he was arrested and charged with DUI. These are just two example of the numerous arrests and convictions that have occurred as a direct result of social media posts involving drinking and driving. So the next time you are out on the town, don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking – and if you fail to heed that advice, at least don’t post about on social media.
Contact an Omaha DUI Lawyer at Petersen Law Office
If you were recently arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Nebraska, contact a DUI lawyer at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.