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Ultimate Facebook Betrayal? Suspect in Fatal DUI Gets Nailed With Online Pics

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By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on June 05, 2009 3:31 PM

The hazards of online social networking have been well-documented of late, particularly in regard to the potential workplace consequences of putting some less-than-flattering pics. But a story today may have highlighted yet another perhaps unexpected danger, that of police, parole officers, and/or judges checking out photos you post online. For 20-year-old Erika Scoliere of Ohio, some online pics of her may have showed particularly poor judgment on her part.

You see, Scoliere was actually out on bail pending trial on DUI-related charges, and not just any DUI charges either, Erika Scoliere is charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI. It's probably not hard to see where we're going by now ... but anyhow, as a condition of being out on bail, Scoliere had been ordered to stay away from alcohol and folks drinking alcohol (this is not uncommon).

However, Scoliere, being a young college student, apparently found this too tough a task, because police found pictures of her drinking with her buddies. The Chicago Tribune story noted the judge's not-so-amused take afterwards:

"It appears the defendant is having a grand old time drinking tequila," Judge Thomas Mueller said during Wednesday's court hearing as he leafed through copies of the pictures.

"'Erika passed out in my bed. Ha Ha,'" the judge said, quoting one of the captions."

Violating probation is bad enough, but being caught breaking a drinking restriction in a DUI/reckless homicide case probably approaches the height of bad judgment. The judge, quite understandably, proceeded to slap Scoliere with an alcohol monitoring bracelet despite her attorney's best literary claim that the bracelet would expose Erika Scoliere to public shame a-la-Hester Prynne in Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter." The judge, perhaps in a sarcastic mood this day, instead referred to the bracelet as a "privilege" Scoliere has earned.