Police in Lakeland, Florida received several 911 calls this past weekend from viewers of a live Periscope broadcast of a woman driving drunk.
For those of you who don’t know what Periscope is, it is a social media smart phone app that allows users to broadcast themselves live to viewers throughout the world.
The woman in the broadcast, later identified as Whitney Beall, 23, repeatedly declared that she had a flat tire, that she didn’t know where she was, and guess what, that she was “drunk beyond belief, people.”
In the video, you can also hear Beall say, “I can’t read you guys right now because I’m f**king driving!” If she had read the viewer comments, she would have seen messages from viewers asking her to stop driving before she killed herself or someone else.
Callers were able to tell police that the woman was in the north Lakeland area, but could not provide a specific location making it difficult for law enforcement to locate the woman. What’s more, the Lakeland Police Department does not provide officers with access to Periscope as an authorized software tool.
One officer, however, immediately created an account and downloaded the Twitter-owned app on his personal phone in an effort to locate the driver.
Based on landmarks identified in the Periscope feed, officers located Beall driving a 2015 Toyota Corolla with a flat left front tire.
Responding officers witnessed Beall strike a curb and come to a stop. Upon contacting Beall, officers noticed that her eyes were bloodshot and watery and that her speech was slow and slurred just as it was in the live feed. Beall also allegedly failed the field sobriety tests and refused a breathalyzer.
Beall was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence.
“She is a young professional with a bright future. When her court date is set, I will be entering a plea on her behalf of not guilty,” attorney Lee Cohen said in a statement reported by CNN affiliate WFLA.
Video of the incident can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQe8QA5Dmcg