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Social Media May Complicate Your DUI Case

Nov. 8, 2019

The Clearwater area has thousands of bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and other places where you can have a beer or cocktail. When enjoying a night on the town, you may want to snap a few pictures of your revelry and post them on social media. If you drive drunk, though, your posts may come back to haunt you.

Virtually everyone in the U.S. has access to a smartphone that allows them to post to social media from virtually anywhere. You must realize, though, that law enforcement agencies in Florida have a history of using social media posts to investigate criminal activity and ultimately arrest suspects. If you are not careful, your posts may turn into evidence against you.

Understanding Criminal Prosecutions

In Florida, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08%. Usually, officers watch for signs that a motorist may have had too much to drink before climbing behind the wheel. Then, they ask suspected drunk drivers to perform a field sobriety test or submit to chemical testing. If neither option is available, prosecutors may attempt to collect other evidence.

Collecting Criminal Evidence

If you posted a series of photos that depict you taking shots throughout the night, prosecutors may use the evidence to prove your BAC was likely above the legal limit. The same may be true if your buddies tag you in their online posts. Furthermore, if you livestream drunk driving or comment about it on social media, you may put yourself in legal jeopardy.

Forming Good Habits

You do not have to stash your smartphone until the party ends. Put simply, there is nothing wrong with documenting legal activities. Still, you do not want your legal actions to turn into illegal ones by driving after drinking. Therefore, always call a cab, use a ride-hailing service or ask a sober friend to drive you home.

You do not want officers or prosecutors to use your social media posts against you in a criminal case. By understanding how your online presence may get you in trouble, you can better plan for avoiding the criminal consequences that sometimes follow a fun evening.