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DUI charges pending for woman who recorded herself as she drove

California residents may have heard about a bizarre incident in Florida involving a 23-year-old woman who was broadcasting herself on her cellphone via a social medial application while she was supposedly driving drunk. The incident occurred in Lakeland, Florida, on Oct. 11.

According to the report, police were alerted of the female driver and her whereabouts after witnesses, many of whom were viewing her live video via a social media application called Periscope, called 911. The witnesses reported that the woman seemed to be drunk, and one man mentioned that she appeared to be driving with a flat tire near north Lakeland. Then, when one of the officers downloaded the software and opened an account, the video identified her exact location.

When law enforcement officials found the woman, they stated she drove into a curb after they signaled her to pull over. Once the woman exited her vehicle, she performed several field sobriety tests but declined to undergo a breath test. Police then detained her on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

When individuals are charged with DUI, a conviction could require them to pay costly fines, serve a jail or prison sentence, be put on probation or give up their driving privileges. Under these circumstances, a criminal defense attorney could assist defendants to retain their driving privileges by helping them with a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing. The attorney might also offer a strong defense by showing that field sobriety tests are not always reliable in proving a person's guilt and that there could have been other reasons to influence the results, such as distractions, fatigue or a medical condition. In addition, poor driving could have occurred because of a mechanical failure with the vehicle. If a conviction appears unavoidable, the attorney might be able to mitigate the punishment by negotiating a plea agreement with the prosecutor.

Source: USA Today, "Woman live-streams herself while 'drunk' driving", Oct. 13, 2015

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