A Hawaii man who posted a video of cracking open a beer bottle and taking a swig while driving on the LiveLeak video-sharing website is later arrested by the police for consuming alcohol while driving a motor vehicle, CNN reports.
The man, Richard Godbehere, posted the clip in February under the title “Let’s Go Driving, Drinking!” to LiveLeak, a video-sharing site where users can vote on and donate to videos they like.
Even so, he appeared surprised when police showed up at his house in Kapa’a, Hawaii, to arrest him on charges of consuming alcohol while operating a vehicle and driving without a license.
Social networks offer platforms for us to share everything on the Internet, from our relationship statuses to our political leanings and photos of our pets and children. But some people are discovering that what they share on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms constitutes evidence that can be used against them in a court of law.
“It’s like that old saying,” said professor Susan Rozelle, who teaches evidence and criminal law at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. “Don’t put anything on your Facebook page you wouldn’t tell your mother, or the local police department.”
What people say and do on social media can certainly be used against them in civil and criminal proceedings. While there are legal hurdles to introduce social media evidence in court, such as proving the evidence is “authentic” and not inadmissible hearsay, more and more courts are allowing social media evidence to make or break a party’s case (or, as we see here, provide the grounds for an arrest).
CEO & Founder of Social Media Law & Order
Ethan teaches social media CLE programs to lawyers, law firms, and legal associations. He can design a one hour, half day, or full day workshop at your office, firm retreat, or conference that will be approved for both ethics and general CLE credit. Learn more about how Ethan can be your social media law keynote speaker at your next conference on topics related to social media and the law.