Think before you drink before you drive before you Facebook

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Law & order, Privacy

Jacob Cox-BrownI've warned plenty of times via the pages of Naked Security about the dangers of sharing too much information about your private life on Facebook.

One person who clearly isn't a regular reader of our site is Jacob Cox-Brown of Astoria, Oregon, who was making his way around town at approximately 1am on New Year's Day when his car crashed into another vehicle causing significant damage to its taillight, bumper and further damage to another car parked in front.

18-year-old Cox-Brown was clearly in a rush to get home, as he didn't stop his car - but went home to post the following message on Facebook instead:

Drunk driving admission on Facebook

Drivin drunk... classsic ;) but to whoever's vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P

1am on New Year's Day, and Jacob Cox-Brown may already have made the dumbest Facebook post of the year. That must surely be some kind of record?

Fortunately, Cox-Brown's posting was seen by some of his Facebook friends who were clearly alarmed by his reckless behaviour, and passed the information on to officers at the Astoria police department.

The police visited Cox-Brown's address later in the day, and claim that they were able to match his car to evidence found at the scene of the crash.

Cox-Brown was arrested and has been charged with two counts of "Failing to Perform the Duties of a Driver" according to a press release issued by Astoria police department.

Of course, a Facebook post alone may not be enough evidence to prove that Cox-Brown was driving under the influence of alcohol, or that his vehicle was involved in a hit-and-run accident.. but it certainly appears to have given police a valuable clue as to where to focus their investigation.

I was about to say that if you're going to drink and drive, it's probably a good idea not to post details about it on Facebook. But then, I thought actually it probably is a good thing if you do expose your dangerous behaviour in this way to the authorities.

I'd prefer it if you just didn't drink and drive though.

So, if you're in the habit of breaking the law - please turn off all of the privacy on your Facebook account and tell the world about your activities. It would sure make the police's job a bit easier.

Here's hoping Naked Security readers have the wit to conduct themselves safely - both online and on the road.

If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest security and privacy news on Facebook, you should join the Naked Security from Sophos Facebook page, where over 200,000 members exchange information about the latest threats.

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16 Responses to Think before you drink before you drive before you Facebook

  1. Cathy Swenson · 1005 days ago

    I think the message should be "Don't drink and drive"

  2. Owen · 1005 days ago

    I'm going to go ahead and call this a tax on stupidity...

  3. Ron Berry · 1005 days ago

    Very intelligent Youn man. These are the type of Young that need to go into the Nasa. Scheduled for missions that leave, but don't come back !

  4. Rob · 1005 days ago

    Who still uses Facebook, I admit all my felonies on twitter

  5. Totally stupid of him but he needs to rethink his friends if they'll just hand him over to the police!

    • Tim B · 1002 days ago

      I'd say he needs to rethink his life personally. If I saw a post like that from any of my friends, or even a significant other, I'd make the same call. "friends" like that I can do without.

  6. Nigel · 1005 days ago

    It would seem that Jacob Cox-Brown aspires to earn a Darwin Award. Of course, he'll have to ramp up the Stupid Behavior™ factor before he can become a serious contender, but if he fails to learn anything from this experience, I'd say he's an early favorite with great promise.

  7. As Forrest Gump would say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

  8. Ron Cook · 1004 days ago

    Darwin works in mysterious ways.

  9. Jan Davies · 1002 days ago

    Let's just hope he doesn't procreate before developing some maturity.

  10. Guest · 1002 days ago

    This person is a bit of an idiot. Anyone who drinks alcohol and then drives while under the influence deserves punishment. But if I drink non-alcoholic beverages surely I should be fairly safe to drive if I have a suitable licence, insurance, etc. But if I drink whilst driving, then I'm stupid and deserve to spill the contents all over myself. So, it ought to be "Don't drink alcohol and then drive."
    But I love how idiotic he was and deserves all he gets from their penal system.

  11. LondonLad · 1002 days ago

    Also worth adding that the status update has a world icon next to it meaning that this could have been seen by people who are not his friends. This is natural selection at it's finest....

  12. Don · 1001 days ago

    say no to facebook

  13. The article was just simple yet very informative.If you are driving don't ever think to drink alcohol for you to prevent accident and to secure your safety and protection.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley