In most drunk driving cases, the police rely on a combination of chemical tests, observations of the driver, field sobriety tests, and in some cases, on self-incriminating statements. However, few things could provide the police and prosecutors such strong evidence as a driver recording their own intoxicated driving, including bragging to the internet that they are knowingly driving drunk.
Earlier this year, we reported two cases of drivers acting as their own worst enemy in recording their own drunk driving exploits. In New Jersey, a woman boasted on her social media account that she reported a false attack in another location, in order to lead police away from where she was driving home drunk. Meanwhile, in Florida, another young woman live-streamed her DUI, before she was stopped by police.
Apparently, other drivers are not learning the lessons of these other young drivers arrested for drinking and driving. A man in Long Island was recently arrested after he broadcast himself driving drunk on social media. Ahmed A. Almalki, 33-years-old, was using the Periscope app on his phone to post a live video to the internet. Periscope, is the same app used by the drunk driver in the above Florida case.
Viewers were watching Almalki driving a Lexus erratically on the Ocean Parkway in the early morning hours, swerving across lanes. Police officers were notified of the video by 911 calls and caught up with Almalki to pull him over. Troopers reportedly smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the driver. According to police, Almalki failed field sobriety tests, and was arrested on charges of felony DWI, failure to signal, unsafe lane changes, speeding, and driving across hazard markings. This was also his second DWI arrest.
Periscope may have also been responsible for two men getting arrested on a more serious charge here in California. Sacramento police arrested two men who were allegedly live-streaming their conversation to hurt someone. According to law enforcement, Damon Batson and Carlos Gonzalez were trying to find a man who may have been with one of their girlfriends. They brandish a gun, and visit an apartment, which later turns out to be empty. Gonzalez also shoots from the vehicle, although no one was reportedly hurt.
Now the video may be used as evidence against the men in a court of law. After police used the video to serve search warrants, they found plenty to arrest the two men. Police arrested Baston on suspicion of cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, receiving stolen property, and weapons violations. Gonzalez was booked on suspicion of gross negligent discharge of a firearm.
At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people charged with DUI and other criminal charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how a criminal conviction can affect your future, and how to fight to keep a conviction off your record. If you are facing criminal charges, contact the local East Bay criminal defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.