A Lakeland woman who bragged about her drunk driving escapade on periscope and was arrested by police for the DUI offence has managed to escape prison after making a plea deal.
On October 2015, Whitney Beall, 23, chose to spend a night barhopping in downtown Lakeland. She also broadcast her exploits via the app Periscope.
“Let’s have fun! Let’s have fun!” she screamed to the camera as Periscope followers were watching her live feed. “I am drunk on South Florida Avenue because I’m a drunk person,” she yelled at camera.
The number of viewers was gradually growing as she was muttering in her drunken frenzy. “Fifty-seven people, oh I didn’t know I’d get this many people,” Beall said. “I am super drunk in the USA and the light is red,” she added.
Unfortunately for Beall, among her prized viewers, two of them called 911 to report her. They also detailed police about how the app she was using can be used to narrow her location down.
Lakeland Police Department Sgt. Gary Gross said that they were able to track her down with relative ease.
“Within minutes we found her driving, flat front tire, she hit the curb again and it was just obvious from that she was intoxicated. She went through the tests, she failed and went to jail”
Despite the short lived time of the stream in Periscope, where the videos only last for 24 hours, detectives were quick to act on it.
The Police Officers found her driving a Toyota Corolla with a flat left front tire. Sgt Gross was relieved that the police managed to find her as quick as they did.
“Not a lot of people know about Periscope. It’s something that we’re well aware of now, Thank God somebody saw this and they called in to let us know how drunk she was, so that we could get her off the road.”
According to Fox13 report, Beall completely sobriety test presented to her by the police and was immediately arrested and sent to to the Polk County Jail.
“It’s easy to say, on a scale of one to 10, she was easily a 10 plus,” added Sgt. Gross.
Last week Beall made a plea in court. Her plea was no contest to a charge of driving under the influence. She was subject to 12 months probation for DUI 1st time offense, along with 10 days weekend work release, 150 hours of community service, alcohol evaluation, and treatment.
Additionally, she was handed with a ban on visiting any bars. It was also made compulsory for her to attend Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) panel.
Assistant State Attorney Lori Winstead said that her sentence was for “publicly flaunting her disregard for safety of the community.”
Along with the sanctions, Beall also received the standard penalty for a first-time drunk driving offense, Winstead said. She will be required to pay more than $1,000 in court costs and fines, she added.
Periscope is a live video streaming application for iOS and Android phones. This app was purchased by Twitter in March 2016 for a $100 million.
In her stream on Periscope, her words were slurred, and she appeared proud and vocal about her drunk status. “I am drunk,” she says multiple times in the video.
In the footage, Beall drove through neighborhood saying she had a flat tire and had no idea where she was, police said.
Lakeland police say Beall received quite a few text messages telling her to stop driving that instant before she killed someone or herself.
[Photo by Kevin Millan, Getty Images]