Although the following DUI arrest did not take place in Maryland, we felt that it was a valuable story to share on our Annapolis drunk driving blog, to illustrate the great lengths to which police officers and public citizens alike are now going in order to apprehend and arrest alleged drunk drivers. Hopefully, this story serves as a reminder to be careful how you act in the wake of a potential criminal offense in order to avoid preventable criminal consequences.
The drunk driving arrest took place after two police officers were notified of a statement made by an 18-year-old man on his private Facebook page in which he admits to driving under the influence of alcohol and hitting a car. According to media reports, that statement read as follows: "Drivin drunk...classic ;) but to whoever's vehicle i hit i am sorry."
After being notified of the Facebook post, police officers went to the man's house and matched a vehicle there to one that had crashed into two others earlier that morning. Then, they arrested the man with two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver. It is unknown whether he may also be charged with drunk driving or related offenses.
This case is just one example of the brave new world of the Internet and social media, and how it can come back to bite those that use it. According to a Maryland attorney that specializes in social media law, more and more courts are accepting social media posts as evidence in criminal and civil cases, which can be both good and bad for litigants. "You never know who's watching," he said. "Once you post online, it can be repurposed in ways you never expected."
Source: Washington Post, "Facebook post on drunk driving lands teen in hot water," Hayley Tsukayama, Jan. 4, 2013