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Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on January 4th, 2013,
by Zane Cagle

“Drunk Drivin on Facebook”-Internet IS NOT Always Private

Posted on January 4th, 2013 by Zane Cagle

An Oregon teen was arrested after he posted a status on Facebook implicating himself in a drunk driving accident.  The 18 yr old teen apparently wrote, “Drivin drunk…classic;) but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry.:P” on his Facebook page on New Year’s Eve. The Daily Mail reported that one of the teen’s friends saw the posts and called police.

Apparently, at the time of the call, the police were investigating a hit and run accident that damaged two vehicles.  When the police located the teen at his home, they found his car was damaged. The police indicated that the damage to his car was consistent with the damage done to the other two cars earlier in the day. As well, they found pieces of the teenager’s car at the accident scene.

The teen was charged with two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver and was released from police custody.  According to reports, the teen could not be charged with DUI because police could not prove that he was driving while intoxicated.

Hey, folks! It really doesn’t matter what kind of privacy settings you have on your various social media accounts, eventually anything online will be public.  While there are always incidents of foolishness, you will want to make sure that you never post a comment or a picture that you wouldn’t want the whole world to see.  For some reason, many people have a false sense of privacy or even feel anonymous since they may be alone and/or posting from their phone while alone, but like any other kind of communication………….it reaches someone and you are not anonymous!  Often, even your location will show up next to your name.

The social media phenomenon is a revolutionary movement on the internet. The days of being anonymous or not being able to find your name on the internet are yesteryear.  Ultimately, you have the most influence about how you appear online through your comments and pictures.  DO NOT OVERSHARE because you think few will see it or under the allusion that you have some privacy!  My advice to refrain from “oversharing” is not “legal” advice, but common sense advice.  I think the consequences of the post mentioned in this Oregon teen article demonstrates that posting just anything on social media is not wise.

A great general rule is: Only post comments and pictures that you will be unembarrassed about in the morning or in the years to come.  Weekly, we see changes in the Facebook timelines and permissions on other social media, so that in two clicks, someone can see your drunken party college pics from four years ago! No longer does anyone have to scroll through hundreds of pages.  So, if you have photos or comments that are less than tasteful—take them off.

When future employers are hiring and doing background checks, do you not think they will check out your social media?  If you act like an idiot on social media, they may assume you are an idiot in general.

If you have been in an emotionally charged situation, it is tempting to blurt out all of your feelings and opinions on social media……..it makes it interesting. But as seen in the example above, you really need to think about how that posted comment or photo will impact your days ahead.  This is a good general rule-of-thumb when making any decision!  Pause and think before you hit “Post”.

Making the decision to climb behind the wheel is a decision to put yourself at risk.  Adding alcohol to a driving situation is just negligent and asking for an auto accident and serious injuries.  According to the reports I read about the Oregon teen’s incident, it was undetermined whether anyone was injured due to this hit-and-run accident.  Mixing alcohol with driving is never a good cocktail.

At The Cagle Law Firm, we are personal injury attorneys that represent victims of accidents with serious injuries.  For  a free consultation, call 1(314) 276-1681—we are available 7 days a week to speak with you and answer your questions.