If you are driving and end up stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, you should expect that the DUI will be recorded for data collection purposes. However, that’s not always where getting a DUI stops your media exposure.
If you hit someone, were particularly belligerent during the stop or were filmed by another person, you could find that your arrest is all over the internet.
Newscasters may cover a collision and suggest that you were drunk if the police took a high Breathalyzer test and told them about it. They might write an accident report for the local news station expressing that you were involved in a crash and that you were potentially intoxicated. Your BAC test results, as well as photo and other information, may be included as well, depending on the circumstances and what kind of story the news is looking for. The police blotter may be used information is made available.
It’s possible that your arrest could be exposed by a third party, such as a driver who witnessed an accident or traffic stop, too. If you’re particularly well-known in the community, then it’s even more likely that this arrest, and any media exposure that occurs, will impact you despite not yet being convicted.
What can you do to minimize media exposure after a DUI arrest?
To avoid media exposure, you’ll need to do a few things. The first is to remain calm at the scene of a crash or traffic stop since you’ll draw less attention.
If you’re involved in a crash and the news reporter states online that you were impaired when that hasn’t yet been determined, you and your attorney may reach out to the news station to have that information retracted.
If you can’t avoid having your information on the news, then one of the better things you can do is to stay quiet about your case until it is settled. If you defend yourself and are not guilty, then you may reach out to the news station to have them edit the report or to create a new piece if the last one was particularly harmful to your reputation.
The media can make a DUI arrest even worse than usual, but there are ways to manage the fallout. This is something to discuss as you’re learning more about your legal options.