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DUI Self-Incrimination: The Perils of Live Streaming

During DUI stops, law enforcement officers often look for self-incriminating evidence that can bolster their case against the suspected drunk driver. This evidence can take various forms, including admissions of alcohol consumption, refusals to take breathalyzer tests, or the telltale scent of alcohol. However, in the age of social media, there are instances where individuals unwittingly provide self-incriminating evidence without any prompting from the authorities. One such case unfolded on Periscope’s live-streaming platform, showcasing the potential consequences of public self-incrimination.

The Case of the Live-Streamed DUI

In sunny Lakeland, Florida, the local police department received multiple 911 calls reporting a possible drunk driver. Callers described a vehicle colliding with curbs and exhibiting erratic driving behavior. The driver’s decision to live-stream her entire misadventure on Periscope made this case particularly unique.

As the woman embarked on her ill-fated journey, she broadcasted her actions and state of mind to the world in real time. Her livestream quickly gained attention and went viral, with viewers attempting to determine her location based on landmarks visible in the video. Concerned viewers sent her messages and texts urging her to pull over for the public’s safety. During the livestream, the woman openly admitted to being intoxicated and lost.

It was a tech-savvy young police officer who managed to decipher her location and relay it to his less digitally inclined superiors. Subsequently, the woman was located and pulled over by law enforcement. Her impaired condition, including a flat tire, slurred speech, and disorientation, provided ample evidence for the police to arrest her on DUI charges.

The Pitfalls of Self-Incrimination

This case is a cautionary tale about the dangers of self-incrimination, especially in the digital age. When faced with a DUI stop or any encounter with law enforcement, it is essential to exercise caution in one’s interactions. Anything an individual says or does during such encounters can be used against them in court.

Law enforcement officers are trained to seek admissions of guilt, and individuals are not obligated to provide self-incriminating information. It is generally advisable to exercise the right to remain silent and to seek legal counsel when confronted with DUI-related allegations.

Furthermore, sharing potentially incriminating information on social media or live-streaming platforms can have long-lasting consequences. Once something is posted online, it can become permanent and resurface to haunt the individual in legal proceedings.


In conclusion, the case of the live-streamed DUI underscores the importance of knowing one’s rights, remaining silent when necessary, and refraining from self-incrimination in any legal encounter. Seeking legal guidance from professionals, such as the experienced team at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, is a prudent step when facing DUI charges to ensure that one’s rights are protected and the best possible defense is mounted.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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