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Drinking and Social Media: The Bad And The Ugly

Drinking and Social Media: The Bad And The Ugly

The advent of social media websites has made it possible for people to share everything in their lives with just a click of a button. This is often beneficial in keeping loved ones up-to-date on the occurrences in a person’s life, but everyone knows a few people who post things on their pages which are simply inappropriate.

Unfortunately, many of us do this without realizing it when alcohol is involved. It’s absolutely essential for individuals to understand the possible effects of posting updates related to alcohol on their pages.

Effect On Relationships

Although social media is relatively new to the world, it already has an “old” adage that should always be followed: If you wouldn’t want your mother to see it, don’t post it on social media sites. It’s actually humorous that anybody needs to know this rule considering the fact that many people actually have their mothers on their friend list.

Unless a person has a social media page set up strictly for their drinking buddies, it’s very likely that someone will be upset, offended or disappointed by pictures or updates of hardcore drinking and partying. It’s also important for a person to keep in mind that their employer or a potential employer may be able to see these updates and photos. There’s a reason people don’t get intoxicated and crazy at work and family gatherings (usually), and it would do a person good to remember this.

Criminal Charges

Social media can also present several problems if a person is facing criminal charges. Someone charged with a DUI, for instance, may completely blow their chance of having the charge reduced or dropped if twenty minutes before their arrest, they updated their status to say “getting drunk at the club!”

Some people have even posted updates after their arrest explaining how they planned on winning their case. Prosecutors such as DUI attorneys can get access to these updates, and a person who hands out their game plan, while sometimes admitting guilt, probably won’t win. There are also updates that could be far removed from the day that a person was arrested that could still hurt them in a criminal case.

For instance, a defendant presents evidence that they’re not a heavy drinker in order to convince a jury that they were not driving under the influence, the prosecution may then be able to present photos (from social media sites) of the defendant drinking five shots of alcohol in succession. This makes it a good idea to never post anything related to heavy drinking on these sites.

What Not To Post

Hopefully, by now it’s quite obvious that posting certain things on social media sites should be avoided. The bulk of things that an individual shouldn’t post should be pretty common sense, but knowing them ahead of time definitely increases a person’s chance of not messing up.

1. Status Updates

Updates informing others that a person is heavily drinking. Updates bragging about how a person got away or is going to get away with an alcohol related crime (i.e. DUI). Updates about driving places after drinking.

FB Status Updates about driving places after drinking

2. Photos

Photos from rowdy house parties where heavy drinking is obvious. Photos from the club or bar. Photos depicting underage drinking. Photos of alcohol consumption inside of a motor vehicle.

Facebook Updates about driving places after drinking
Cox-Brown’s Facebook page. The boast has been removed.
(Credit: Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

It’s also important for a person to update their settings on social media sites so that their friends cannot “tag” them in photos without their prior consent. This will prevent incriminating or embarrassing photos from making it to the web before a person can delete them.

Social media has really changed the world we live in; there’s been no other time in history when an individual could stay connected with so many people all at once. This means that everyone we know sees us when we’re at our best, and unfortunately, they also see us at our worst. Social media pages are never completely private, especially when family members and the legal system become involved, so it’s imperative to fully consider every update before posting it. 

About The Author

Ieda Vincent enjoys connecting with family and friends using various social media sites – it’s the next best thing to being there. Katz & Phillips, P.A. has many DUI attorneys in Orlando knowledgeable about the complexities of criminal charges that can stem from driving under the influence. Their firm is able to analyze alcohol breath tests and minimize the chances of the results being used in court proceedings.