People share just about everything on social media these days, from wedding announcements to what they had for lunch to how traumatized they were by the latest episode of Game of Thrones. (Hodor!) One such social media platform that is quite popular is the live-streaming app, Periscope. Periscope allows users to show people what they are doing as they are doing it. Started in 2014 by Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein, the app was bought before it even launched by social media giant Twitter. It officially launched in March of 2015. In August 2015, the company stated it already had over 10 million accounts.
Some Periscope account holders have made the decision to broadcast themselves committing less than legal acts. Such is the case with two users who live-streamed themselves while driving intoxicated for all the world to see.
In October of last year, an intoxicated Whitney Beall started using Periscope while driving home in Lakeland, Florida after a night of bar hopping. According to Fox 13 in Seattle, the video "was allegedly titled 'Drunk girl driving.'" On the video Beall states that she is drunk and comments that she hopes she doesn't get a DUI. People tuning into the live-stream were encouraging Beall to pull over and some viewers called the local police to notify them of what was going on.
A Lakeland police officer downloaded Periscope and opened up an account in order to track Beall. The officers were able to figure out where she was by using local landmarks. When officers pulled the 23-year old over she smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes, and was disoriented. She was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. She reached a plea agreement in February 2016 which allowed her to avoid spending time behind bars. For the DUI she received, "12 months of probation, alcohol evaluation and treatment, a 10-day vehicle impound, six months driver's license suspension, as well as no alcohol and no bars." Because she live-streamed her drunken escapades, she also received "150 hours of community service and 10 days of weekend work release," for "publicly flaunting her disregard for the safety of the community."
Another individual who made the unwise decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated and then broadcast his bad decision on Periscope is 33-year old Ahmed Almalki. He was drinking at his home in Long Island, then climbed behind the wheel of an SUV. Similar to what happened in Beall's case, viewers of the live-stream called police to report the incident. This time it was a dispatcher who downloaded the app and used landmarks to help officers locate the suspect. He failed field sobriety tests and was subsequently placed under arrest. This is the graduate student's second arrest for DWI.
If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence, please do not hesitate to contact attorney Aaron Wolff to assist you with your case today.