Share the fact you drink-drive on Facebook, be convicted

Share the fact you drink-drive on Facebook, be convicted

Summary: A lesson in what not to share on social networking, as a teenage drink-driver finds themselves on the wrong side of the law.

TOPICS: Legal, Networking

Facebook: Often used for sharing your "Happy new year" status, perhaps what you had for breakfast, or your thoughts on the latest news.

But if you share the fact you've just committed a dangerous and idiotic act, you're not necessarily protected from the law just because its a social media site.

This is the harsh lesson a teenager from Oregon has learnt, after the 18-year old posted on his Facebook account:

teenager drink driving facebook post convict arrest cox brown

After being called out at 1 a.m. Wednesday, a local police officer responded to a hit-and-run crash, which left "significant' damage to a side-swiped car involved, as well as a second, parked car in front.

According to local news publication The Daily Astorian, after posting the message, two friends with access to the teenager's profile tipped off the police through private Facebook messages. This resulted in law officials going to the teenager's house and finding a damaged vehicle that matched the scenario in the early morning, the suspected vehicle found to be registered to the drink-driver.

Once connected to the incident, the teenager was arrested and held at Clatsop County Jail, eventually being charged with two counts of "failing to perform the duties of a driver." The only thing that went in the teen's favor is the fact that a Facebook post is not necessarily enough evidence to secure a full conviction for something more serious.

A press release from Astoria's police department summed up the entire debacle:

"Astoria Police have an active Social Media presence. It was a private Facebook message to one of our officers that got this case moving though. When you post "Drivin drunk... classsic ;) but to whoever's vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P" on Facebook you have to figure that it is not going to stay private long."

Topics: Legal, Networking

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  • They are watching you. All of you.

    The government is watching us. All of us., all the time, every day.

    Every phone call you make is recorded and listened to by an AI. Every text message is read by an AI. Every time you type in a search term, the government is listening. That time you searched for the local pot laws? They know. That girl you met in the nightclub who only got in on a fake ID? They have it all on camera...

    You aren't safe, you aren't secret. The only thing keeping you out of jail on 'something' is that they haven't gotten to you yet.
    Xira Arien
    • conspiracy theory much

      • Wow

        Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)

        Happy New Year!
    • Tinfoil hat wearer

      Time to tighten up your tinfoil hat. I hear the feds have upped the amperage on the Mind Control Ray Gun.
    • Where the hell do you live

      if they can put you in jail for looking up local pot laws? Going equipped to buy isn't yet a crime is it?

      My only suggestion to you is to keep the tin foil hat on at all times. This is the only way to stop the government from penetrating your thoughts with their invisible mind worms.

      Right, I'm off to face the mob of local farmers at my door. Who would have thought my vegetable pron history would get me into trouble, I can only presume the government ratted me out.
      Little Old Man
    • So?

      If you're dealing drugs or arms, I guess you probably have something to worry about. Picking Meagan up at soccer practice probably isn't going to garner much of a reaction from The Man.
      • So, who's more likely cause you problems.

        I think Xira Arien has a point. What about the kid who posted an honest concern about Obama's safety? And the FBI pulled him out of school to interrogate him. Just because you think you're not doing anything wrong, doesn't mean you won't fit some profile, that will cause you big problems. I think we’re far more likely to be harassed by some arrogant, simple minded, government employee, than to be protected by them.
    • And what about the anal probe those aliens did on you?

      have you recovered enough to where you can sit down, again?
      William Farrel
    • Where has everyone's sense of humor gone?

      That post was obviously a joke... I lol'd.
    • Reread the story

      If you reread the story, it does not state that this guy was picked up due to government monitoring. The cops were notified by two responsible friends who had access to his facebook page notified the police. Believe it or not, these were good friends in that they hopefully keep him from being involved in future accidents involving drinking and driving, possibly saving his and/or someone else's life. Too many people would ignore the post, these people did the responsible thing and stepped forward to provide law enforcement with the information.
      • Unblocked: The Blocked Side of Facebook

        There's a great new book called, Unblocked: The Blocked Side of Facebook, which shows the real side of Facebook for teenagers. This is the side of Facebook parents don't see. Please if you have a teenager or soon to be teenager - this is a must read! As a bonus there’s a Slang and Emoticon Dictionary in the back of the book. For a short time Amazon is offering $5off Unblocked at
        Promo Code: UTGYQQHB
        Valen Erap
  • Admit to a crime...

    Relax, Xira, the government doesn't really care. Unless you are a "terrorist" on the drone hit list. This kid's friends ratted him out.
  • .

    when i read the headline i wondered why seeing what someone wrote on facebook is any different than any wrapper claiming he deals crack and shoots thugs blah blah blah... then i read and saw that the kid got snitched on and there was actually evidence and he still didn't get more than a slap on the wrist... so i guess justice is at least consistent
  • Actually, what the teen did is probably a GOOD thing

    People seem to be telling the teen, you're stupid! You confessed to a crime on Facebook!

    But that's not socially responsible advice. A kindly, mature adult would tell the kid: don't hit and run. It's immoral. It's a crime. What's done is done; learn your lesson, turn yourself in to the police.

    Did the kid have that in mind when he posted on Facebook? Uh, no, probably not. But lots of people do things as if they WANT to be caught. And even if this kid didn't post for that reason, the effect was the same. He hit, he ran... and then he behaved in a way that amounted to turning himself in to the police.

    By the way, I partially agree with the conspiracy theorists. The police got a private Facebook message telling them about the post? So they didn't have to see the post themselves in order to go to the kid's house and see the damaged car? Perhaps that's all true. But perhaps the private message was from another cop -- i.e., the kid's supposed friends had nothing to do with it. I'm not saying that that IS true; just that it's a bit naive to assume that the police story is 100% true.
    • What's disturbing, though . . .

      What's disturbing, though - he treated it pretty lightly, calling it "classic" and using a winking smilie. And he didn't report it to the police - he put it on Facebook.

      "The police got a private Facebook message telling them about the post?"

      Apparently the Astoria Police have a Facebook page, and it's actually quite active. Yes, some people actually have a positive relationship with law enforcement.

      Truth be told, we SHOULD have a positive relationship with and attitude towards law enforcement. They exist to keep the community safe. I honestly don't get why some people seem to be invested in questioning their every move. No, they're not perfect, and yes, there are a few bad apples out there, but I don't think law enforcement as a whole should be viewed in a negative, highly skeptical light.
  • Agreed - criminal stupidity is GOOD.

    Please keep confessing, please keep leaving your wallet at the scene, please keep doing all the idiotic stuff that makes catching you child's play. Or maybe just not do the crime in the first place. Either method has a definitive up side.
  • Inaccurate headline

    Which makes it sound as though just saying you drove drunk is enough to convict you of doing so.

    The police kind of have to prove it, which was the fact that the smashed car's dents matched the dents in the driver's car.

    He could have just shared the fact that he was in a hit and run, and the same thing would have happened.
    William Farrel
  • Shouldn't the damaged vehicles be plenty of evidence?

    I'm actually a bit surprised that "The only thing that went in the teen's favor is the fact that a Facebook post is not necessarily enough evidence to secure a full conviction for something more serious."

    Okay, sure: A Facebook post isn't enough evidence. But according to the article, there was significant damage to the vehicles. Surely the damaged vehicles is rather significant evidence?
    • you are correct

      You are correct the damage is evidence enough, that's why he was charged with "failing to perform the duties of a driver." But there was no evidence that he was drinking or even drunk other than his admission on Facebook (but with how easy it is to hack a friend's account that uses your laptop, that admission wouldn't stand). So ultimately the damage and paint swapping on both cars proved he was reckless, not drunk.
  • 'Learnt'? Seriously?

    "This is the harsh lesson a teenager from Oregon has learnt, after the 18-year old posted on his Facebook account:"

    Oh Em Gee....I can't believe what I just read, from both a grammatical and a content standpoint.