Video of a 23-year-old Lakeland woman who live-broadcast her drunken drive home from a bar offers scary lessons on the perils of getting behind the wheel after drinking, a Lakeland Police spokesman said.
The video “highlights the dangers of driving while intoxicated through the eyes of a drunk and irresponsible young adult,” Sgt. Gary Gross said. “The Lakeland Police Department is extremely thankful that this did not result in an accident and no one was injured as a result of her poor decision.”
Whitney Marie Beall, 23, was charged with DUI after police finally found her after getting reports from worried people who viewed her live broadcast Friday night on Periscope, a smartphone app.
Beall broadcast herself drinking shots at downtown bars and then for about 40 minutes as she drove north on U.S. 98 and other roads while repeatedly saying she was drunk and didn’t know where she was in a continuous, profanity-filled monologue.
On a drunkenness scale of one to 10, “she was a 10,” Gross told The Ledger.
Viewers repeatedly asked her via the Periscope app to stop driving. At one point she said, “I really hope you don’t wish I get a $150 ticket because they’re horrible, and a DUI will cost more, so much more than what I’m worth. Like, a DUI, I really hope, I really hope I don’t get a DUI.” Just then there was a loud thud; presumably it was either her left front tire blowing out as it hit a curb or when she hit a sign.
After 911 calls came in, police were hampered by not having a complete description of the car or its location, until a young officer used his personal Periscope account to find the live video and ascertain from landmarks that she was near Lakeland Square, Gross said.
Police stopped her on Carpenters Way and charged her with Driving Under the Influence. She was taken to the Polk County Jail and released Saturday.
Reached at her home Monday, Beall told News Channel 8, “It was a big mistake and I’m learning my lesson.”
Here is a video capture of Beall’s Periscope broadcasts. (Warning: abundant profanity)