Sheriff: Drinking-and-driving Facebook video leads to arrest

AP News
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Posted: Dec 30, 2015 10:37 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man took cellphone video of himself drinking while driving and posted it on Facebook, leading to his arrest hours later in a case that illustrates how social media can help law enforcement, a sheriff's office said.

Someone tipped off deputies about the video after it was posted Monday, and the vehicle was stopped that afternoon south of Columbus, in Hamilton Township, the Franklin County sheriff's office said.

A copy of the 12-second video provided by the sheriff's office shows a man sitting in a vehicle, looking into the camera while music plays in the background, then raising his eyebrows and taking a swig from a partially covered bottle. He doesn't speak. As the clip ends, the camera is flipped around to show a hand with only one finger raised to guide the steering wheel as a wiper moves across the vehicle's windshield.

The driver, Dustin Rittgers, 28, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Municipal Court on five misdemeanor charges, including operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and having an open container in a vehicle.

Rittgers, of Obetz, had no publicly listed phone number. A public defender listed in his court docket didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday.

Court records indicate Rittgers pleaded guilty earlier this year in a separate impaired-driving case stemming from a September 2014 stop by state troopers.