Everyone should know the tell tale signs of a drunk driver on the road. If the car is slowing down and speeding up, braking frequently, or swerving erratically in the lane, you know you should call that car into the police by dialing 911. But what if the drunk driver you spot is on social media?
Over the past ten years the shift to smartphones, tablets, and apps has made the world a smaller place, and it’s created some unique situations. Now people can be sitting at home, surfing the Internet, and they could realize that they need to report a drunk driver. Even stranger, it’s probably someone they don’t even know.
When a Port Charlotte, Florida couple was out with friends recently, they left a SnapChat trail of videos all evening. Some of the videos were of them doing shots, while others showed them drinking with the group they were with.
The first video was shot at 11 pm and the last at 1:15 am. An hour later the couple who shared the videos crashed when the car went off the road and collided with a road sign and a tree. Both passenger and driver died.
Although there is no video of the driver behind the wheel of a car, because of the videos showing the couple drinking before they drove, Florida police are proceeding with their investigation of the crash on the theory that it was caused by drunk driving.
This isn’t the first time someone in Florida used social media after or during a drunk drive. A Florida woman was drunk driving on Periscope and multiple users made the decision to call her into the police. She was arrested shortly after.
A case like this really makes you think: what would you do or could you do if you saw someone drinking or drinking and driving on social media? Even if you don’t know that person, would you ask them to find a designated driver, call one for them yourself, or call them into the police when you saw they were behind the wheel?
Thanks to social media, these are questions that need to be answered. The safest option in all cases is to try to help by suggesting a sober ride or calling the police if you can see that person is drunk behind the wheel. Just like you’d pick up the phone if you were behind a drunk driver on the road, living with the “what if” of not trying would be far worse than the effort it would take to post a quick message or make a phone call.