The Twitter Bird Has Had a Little Too Much to Drink

Interesting article that shows how creative people are getting with Twitter.

How drunk is SXSW? Follow the tweeting breathalyzer

Combine a mass of Internet-obsessed geeks and alcohol, and what do you get? Aside from some  very awkward social situations, the natural offspring is a Twitter-enabled breathalyzer project.

I have blogged before about how we should be careful about what we post on social network sites.  Twitter Bird Has Had a Bit too Much To DrinkThis new gadget is a clear example of how irresponsible people can become with potentially incriminating information.

Basically what this gadget does is it takes a breath test from a subject and posts the BAC result on Twitter.  Unfortunately, what many people tend to forget is that these posts  are often left public for all the world to see…including law enforcement.

A recent story from the Associated Press illustrates how law enforcement agencies are training detectives on how to scour social media sites for evidence to be used in prosecution. 

When tweets can make you a jailbird.

WASHINGTON – Maxi Sopo was having so much fun "living in paradise" in Mexico that he posted about it on Facebook so all his friends could follow his adventures. Others were watching, too: A federal prosecutor in Seattle, where Sopo was wanted on bank fraud charges

I can tell you from firsthand courtroom experience that evidence gleaned from social media sites is being used by prosecutors more often than you think.  From underage drinking to DUI to parole violation, information from social media sites is being presented in courtrooms all across America.  It’s really a “How stupid could I be!” moment when the accused discovers that evidence from their on-line life is being used against them.  Unfortunately, at that point, the damage has often been done making their case more complicated to defend.

Aside from being used as evidence, this type of information can bias jurors as well.  I witnessed a situation where a juror in a DUI trial Googled the defendant’s name and found pictures of her drinking at a party.   In and of itself that is not incriminating but it can taint and prejudice a juror’s thinking possibly resulting in a guilty verdict.

Once again, my advice is to be very careful about what you post and what information you leave public.  Don’t post anything that may come back to haunt you later.


-Justin J. McShane, Esquire, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney

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Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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