Law enforcement using social media to crack down on drinking - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Law enforcement using social media to crack down on underage drinking

Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universities all around the country. (Source: Twitter account) Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universities all around the country. (Source: Twitter account)
The CAST Coalition used tips they saw from social media Friday night in one underage drinking crackdown.  (Source: imshmacked Instagram account) The CAST Coalition used tips they saw from social media Friday night in one underage drinking crackdown. (Source: imshmacked Instagram account)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.

Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universities all around the country. The videos are aimed to show off a school's party scene, and weeks ago I'm shmacked announced the group would film at CCU.

"I don't believe these companies or whoever is putting these things on is purposely promoting it for underage drinkers," said Jeff Benton of the CAST Coalition. "We just know that underage drinkers do get into these things."

Benton said law enforcement has known about the group's visit for weeks. He said North Myrtle Beach Public safety even requested the sheriff department's assistance on Thursday to transport students who were arrested at an event at the House of Blues.

"These aren't just random things we're going out doing; we know," Benton said.

Law enforcement knows largely due to social media. Benton says deputies are constantly checking places like Twitter and Instagram to see when and where minors may be drinking.

The CAST Coalition used tips they saw from social media Friday night in one underage drinking crackdown. In that crackdown, four people were arrested and nine minors were cited for possession of alcohol.

"You don't know who's tweeting, retweeting, reposting, and law enforcement knows this. We know that individuals post parties on the internet," Benton said.

He said the CAST Coalition has no problem with people drinking legally, but it is against the law for minors to consume alcohol. When a minor posts about a party online, it shows law enforcement exactly where to find them.

"Just remember, what you put out there is simply not for your eyes only," Benton added. "It can be copied and pasted and everything else if you think you're sending it privately to somebody else, that somebody may be taking a screenshot and sending it to us."

I'm Shmacked announced on Twitter Saturday that they will release a video from CCU within the next week.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

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