Whitney Beall, 23, was arrested by police in Lakeland, Florida, on Oct. 9 after she used the Periscope app to live stream video of herself on social media going to bars and then getting behind the wheel to drive home. While broadcasting herself, she said, “I’m driving home drunk, let’s see if I get a DUI. I don’t think I will.”
Two viewers of the Periscope stream called 911, resulting in police downloading the app and watching her video to pinpoint her location using landmarks. It took officers about 20 minutes after the calls to track down Beall, pull her over and administer sobriety tests that resulted in the DUI charge.
“Looking at it through her eyes was just shocking to say the least,” Lakeland Sgt. Gary Gross told Kerry Sanders on TODAY Tuesday.
Beall’s arrest is part of the growing trend of law enforcement monitoring social media for those who may be violating the law. In May, a man was charged with robbing a bank in Virginia Beach, Virginia, after posting a picture on Instagram of a note he gave to a teller during the incident.
“Criminals do sometimes give us clues as to what their criminal activity and behavior is,” Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Sarasota Police Department told Sanders. “They do post things on social media, which helps us.”
As for Beall, she said outside her home on Monday that she has learned her lesson and what happened was a big mistake.