No one can deny social media has changed the way people live their daily lives. From photos of your family to your thoughts on the latest political upheaval, everything that was once private is public if you choose to share it. Unfortunately some people take the sharing a step too far, especially when it comes to sharing on the topic of drunk driving.
Social media has been influencing the fight against drunk driving since the creation of Facebook and Twitter. In some respects it helps local authorities and prosecutors crack down on drunk drivers, while in other situations it can actually prevent them from doing their job.
A Florida woman recently became a tragic example of how prosecutors use social media to crack down on drunk drivers. After tweeting she was ‘2 drunk 2 care,’ Kayla Maria Mendoza got behind the wheel of her vehicle and slammed head on into another car, killing the two passengers inside. Her blood alcohol concentration was .15, nearly twice the legal limit of .08, and she opted to plead guilty to two counts of driving under the influence manslaughter. Because of the hard evidence against her and her guilty plea, she’s facing 30 years in prison.
Social media doesn’t always help put drunk drivers behind bars. Over the past few years there have been many instances where drivers will tweet or share on Facebook the location of police check points. When a drunk driver knows a checkpoint exists, they have the option of avoiding it, and that single tweet could result in a crash causing injury or death for the driver or an innocent bystander.
Thanks to social media, police have had to get savvy when it comes to stopping drunk drivers. Now checkpoints are set up in the middle of the week, off on random side roads, or police spend a lot of time on highways watching for potential drunk drivers.
There are always two sides to everything, and in the case of social media affecting the fight against drunk driving, there will always be good and bad outcomes.
Do you think social media helps or hurts the fight against drunk driving?