crime

University student suspended following 'drunk driving' tweet

54 Comments

A university student in Fukuoka has been suspended after his university learned that he tweeted about drunk driving. The man, a third-year business school student, has been suspended from Fukuoka University for three months following the incident that took place on Tuesday.

According to local media sources, the 20-year-old student returned home from his part-time job and tweeted: "That's the first time I've driven drunk in a while. My heart was pounding." When university authorities were made aware of the message, which does not mention the vehicle that had been driven, they decided to punish the student. It was later revealed that the message was in relation to the student riding a bicycle while under the influence, which is also illegal under Japanese traffic law. A university spokesman was quoted by a TV station as saying: "Writing messages that condone, or seem to condone, drunk driving shows a lack of common sense."

The number of drunk driving offenses in Fukuoka Prefecture last year was the highest in Japan, according to the National Police Agency. Authorities have been trying to crack down on such traffic violations nationwide and universities have also attempted to increase awareness through disciplining their students.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

54 Comments
Login to comment

"...trying to crack down..." WTF - just think about it. if they actually did crack down there would really be increased awarness and their coffers would be filled.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

JT -- since when is tweeting a crime? Or gettings suspended from school? You have no way of knowing if he did in fact drive drunk, or was just bragging. So this should not be in the "crime" section.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

The story says the student rode a bicycle while under the influence, which is a crime under Japanese law.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so sharp moderator, thanks for pointing that out

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I honestly don't know why anyone tweets, when whatever you say can be used against you in public; courts, legal matters...

You have to be a special sort of dumb, to participate in this entrapment.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I have driven around that area. For consistency, the university should suspend students who illegally ride bicycles on non designated sidewalks or who get speeding tickets.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Unless he admitted it that is not very strong evidence.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

“Writing messages that condone, or seem to condone, drunk driving shows a lack of common sense.”

So does suspending students based on what you view as common sense. I think the spokesman should now suspend himself!

Its was a bicycle. He is young. Give him a stern warning and be done with it. Everyone has done some similar illegal activity, at least everyone who does not have a stick shove up their...,

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“Writing messages that condone, or seem to condone, drunk driving shows a lack of common sense.”

So, if I tweeted (twote?) "I hope someone kills Lady Gaga", I would be condoning murder then?

This whole "seem to condone" rubbish is silly.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He may or may not have committed an offense. He was silly to Tweet. But it's seems to be a bit far to suspend him. He hasn't and won't be convicted of a crime.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I guess I have no common sense and neither did Japan just a few years ago. We both condoned drunk driving within certain limits. Now if you drive sober next day after drinking but your breath still has alcohol in it, its a major crime. But you may legally drive just as sleepy, tired, angry or old as you like!

Common sense does not seem to be common nor universal.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Now if you drive sober next day after drinking but your breath still has alcohol in it, its a major crime.

Not true. You need to be over the legal limit. Which is perfectly reasonable.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

First, haven't seen the original Japanese tweet but that message does not appear to condone, or "seem to condone" (whatever that means) drunk driving. But even if it did, it is absolutely ludicrous that a school is out there policing tweets to determine the moral value of its students. Guess I could get suspended for 3 months for tweeting something like "shoplifted as a teen and it was such a rush." And common sense?? It's TWITTER for Chrissakes. Not too much intellectual debate going on in most tweets.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's got to be true... the police read it on the internet! When has someone posted something on the internet that wasn't the truth?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The man, a third-year business school student, has been suspended from Fukuoka University for three months

So suspended for August (summer holidays), September (summer holidays) and October (study time). In effect this is only a 1 month suspension. It seems like a fair price to pay for the life-lesson, "If you do something wrong then for goodness sakes keep your mouth SHUT". This student got off lightly, and it's definitely going to be an educational experience.

Good job on not mentioning his name JT. Mentioning his name would have been too harsh, and no-one would want to employ someone who couldn't keep their mouth shut about illegal activities (sarcasm warning).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ha ha Frungy - good point! no issue there that you broke the law buddy, but we cant give you a job because you TOLD everyone about it!!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

1.This is earth shattering news, 2 People care? A bike was involved that makes it a very serious problem... Did the student in question steal it, we do not know! Did the student in question ride a bike in an enhanced state.. We do not know, But I think we all agree this student should be punished, hanging them is appropriate the evidence is sketchy and enough for justifying a death sentence - at least we should support ruining their life.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

While the kid was incredibly dumb to post this and think there would be no consequences (why would you want to post this drivel anyway?), I can't see why the school can suspend him. At best it would give the police grounds to investigate, but it would be too late to prove anyway.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Big Onisan is watching you !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

FFS. He's not a teenager anymore. How is this the university's business?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

so if I tweet: "I rode my bicycle while holding an umbrella", would I get suspended? how about "I forgot to turn on the light of my bike yesterday night"?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And how did the university get a hold of the tweet in the first place? I guess someone must have grassed him up. Poor show.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Unless he admitted it that is not very strong evidence.

"Performance art, m'lud" usually works for me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At least we don't have to worry about thought crimes. We are talking about Twitter, after all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is pretty stupid imo

And meanwhile how many staff at said uni will get in their cars tonight & drive after having a few cold ones???

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to the Law of Japan. According to the Constitution of Japan Chapter 13 Article 94. Local public entities shall have the right to manage their property, affairs and administration and to enact their own regulations within the law. THEN there is something that boggles me about Chapter 3 Article38. No person shall be compelled to testify against himself. (2) Confession made under compulsion, torture or THREAT, or after prolonged arrest or detention SHALL not be admitted in evidence. NO PERSON SHALL BE CONVICTED OR PUNISHED IN CASES WHERE THE ONLY PROOF IS HIS OWN CONFESSION.

If he is smart he would sue the dean involved, I WOULD.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

ANYONE CAN FIND THE CONSTITUTION OF JAPAN AT THIS LINK> www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/constitution...japan/constitution_e.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Huge over-reaction, I agree, but remember that it was in Fukuoka in 2006 that a government employee driving drunk rear-ended a vehicle, causing it to fall into Hakata Bay and killing a couple and their three young children. Reverberations have been strongly felt there since.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I agree with you, but the law should be applied and silliness should be set aside. In this case, no one is right.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One, like Frungy said, "keep your mouth SHUT". Don't just tweet or write everything on facebook.

Two, I think they are over reacting, just like with the kid who got arrested for cheating on a test a few weeks before 3/11.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've got a feeling that he was probably driving a car but said it was a bicycle to try to lessen his offence: "first time I've driven drunk for a long time...my heart was pounding" I don't think he would have been so nervous on a bicycle.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Since when do you drive a bicycle? The again, "drunk riding" has a number of possible interpretations...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Not true. You need to be over the legal limit. Which is perfectly reasonable.

Was he?

And no, the new limit is NOT reasonable, and neither is the breath test, the only test Japan offers, and he was not given one.

So how is it known he was over the limit? Did he test himself?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

**Make sure no one can make a connection between your Twitter account and the real you.

Plausible deniability, people.**

1 ( +2 / -1 )

>I've got a feeling that he was probably driving a car but said it was a bicycle to try to lessen his offence: "first time I've driven drunk for a long time.

I've got a feeling he wrote something like久しぶりに飲酒運転したor飲んで乗った, which could refer to either a car or a bicycle. Lost in Translation.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's definitely stupid and dangerous to ride your bicycle while drunk but I've mixed feelings about suspending him from university because of it. As a side note, I've never heard of any Japanese university suspending a student or putting them on probation for academic reasons.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If he was never convicted of a crime, how can the university suspend him? They have no proof that he is guilty of this act. They are just asserting that he does not have the free speech to talk about it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just to clarify, by academic I mean related to grades, scores, class rankings and what have you. I'm not talking about people who cheat. That would fall under ethics or morals.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He shouldn't be suspended, as according to Japanese law, no person can be convicted by their own confession without supporting evidence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If he was never convicted of a crime, how can the university suspend him?

Violation of school policy. But I don't think they have a case there either.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If they start suspending every stupid uni student who tweets or facebooks his/her illegal or immoral activities, there won't be any students left in classes!! Why couldn't he just say he was making it up to sound cool? How can they even take such information as factual evidence? WOW!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the college stepped over there bounds.

It's not a crime and he didn't do anything.

Now if he rode naked, with a beer in hand and driving a bicycle. Bury the slob !!!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ambrosia, we fail (graduate) students sometimes. they can extend their curriculum for maximum one year, then they are expelled. there are some ways of extending the period for medical reasons. you know, despite the widespread belief, not everybody graduates

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the college has a case. They could very easily hold this idiot accountable for behavior that harms the reputation of the school. His actions, whether true or not, harm the universities ability to draw students, and thus income. This kind of stipulation is present in a wide host of contracts throughout Japan and is generally known as the "Don't Be Stupid Clause."

Meanwhile, the kid really is an idiot and deserves some grief for this, not only because he was irresponsible riding while inebriated, but also because he though it would be wise to tell everyone about it.

Tweeting: Is life really so boring that we're compelled to broadcast the minutia of our lives to the planet?

Kind of like posting photos of our idiotic antics on Facebook. For the love of Pete, why?!

In one of my company's branches alone last year, we had to let go of three people for posting compromising/incriminating photos of themselves, including one woman who thought it would be a great laugh to post photos of her scaling a 1000-year old cherry tree in Kyoto that has apparently been designated some sort of national treasure. She also proudly shared a photo of a branch she snapped off of it as a souvenir. Classy.

This kid in Fukuoka should accept the suspension graciously and be thankful it wasn't expulsion.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

They could very easily hold this idiot accountable for behavior that harms the reputation of the school.

They could very easily try. But to win in court if he sued them for it? That would be quite a bit harder. Its pretty over the top to consider tweeting about what he did on his private time and at least mostly off campus as harming their rep. Besides, he is a paying student, ie a customer, not a rep of the school.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My students have told me numerous members of their club go out dancing and drinking and drive home drunk. Do I think they should be suspended over it? Nope. Now if they were actually caught by the cops, I would certainly agree. Japan needs to do so much more to combat this problem - more road checks and not telling people where the checks will be would go a long way!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Its pretty over the top to consider tweeting about what he did on his private time and at least mostly off campus as harming their rep."

Maybe in other parts of the world, but not here in Japan. What you do in your private time instantly becomes your club's/employer's/shool's business the minute you make it public.

Tweeting to his friends, the world, and God wasn't private. It's very, very public. He may as well have stood outside the front gate of his school and used a bullhorn instead.

As the university spokesman said it best by pointing out that, "[One of our students behind whom the entire reputation of this university rests from the day we granted him admission to the day he begins searching for a future employer] writing messages that condone, or seem to condone, drunk driving shows a lack of common sense."

This kid put the school into a negative light and threatened its future existence by essentially telling the public, "Fukuoka University exercises poor judgement with it's admission policies."

And parents who are the actual paying customers here, certainly aren't going to fork over cash to have their kid go to a school that also counts admitted drunk drivers among its student body.

I know you're thinking, "Well, that just ain't right." That doesn't matter. It's right for Japan.

What gets me is how many posters here are so blase about the implications of this kid driving drunk (and we can all dispense with the, "Posh, there's no proof" silliness. He admitted it). This kid could have killed someone. Or someone could have killed him and been haunted for the rest of their life by his death as a result of his stupidity.

Instead, it seems the overwhelming message anyone reading this thread is supposed to take away is that it's only wrong if you get caught doing it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This kid could have killed someone.

He could have killed someone without driving/riding drunk. You do know something like 94 percent of accidents are caused by sober dirvers? Not to condone driving drunk, but getting all melodramatic about it is, well, something that has long passed its "use by" date. We don't even know how drunk he was, or really, if he was.

threatened its future existence

Could we leave this violin solo unplayed?

This kid put the school into a negative light

As you say, perhaps, according to typical Japanese perception. The only thing I see in a negative light is the man. Its the only logical conclusion.

What you do in your private time instantly becomes your club's/employer's/shool's business the minute you make it public.

I think you would be better off stating "the minute it becomes public" because you certainly don't need to do it yourself.

And parents who are the actual paying customers here, certainly aren't going to fork over cash to have their kid go to a school that also counts admitted drunk drivers among its student body.

Our next violin piece is entitled "Storm in a teacup". Its real tear-jerker. And a one, and a two....

Remember, I said it would be harder to win a civil case, not impossible. Short the overly melodramatic bits, I am sure what you say would also be said in court and might even be accepted. But even in Japan, if it went that far, I doubt the uni would win. But we all know it usually does not get that far and that is probably the biggest reason why your statements at least seem sound for Japan. Usually that sort of clap-trap will be bandied about and it never goes to court at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"As you say, perhaps, according to typical Japanese perception. The only thing I see in a negative light is the man. Its the only logical conclusion."

So you say but whenever something bad happens, the first thing I see you say is that's Japan's fault or it's why Japan sucks or that's society and the japanese fault.

Funny how you're one to say that's a a japanese perception when you do the same. Oh I forgot, being white means you're automatically right. my bad

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“Writing messages that condone, or seem to condone, drunk driving shows a lack of common sense.”

....

...LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL Why can't they do this in the US? Punish EVERYONE with a lacking of common sense.. that would go over well. Half the world population would be in jail so to speak...LOLOLOLOL.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So you say but whenever something bad happens, the first thing I see you say is that's Japan's fault or it's why Japan sucks or that's society and the japanese fault.

You must have me confused with someone else. I am very careful to blame groups that can actually be blamed for things when I am actually placing blame, and "the Japanese" can hardly be blamed for anything. And I am not placing blame here, but merely pointing out something that is irrational albeit common.

Funny how you're one to say that's a a japanese perception when you do the same. Oh I forgot, being white means you're automatically right. my bad

Again,you seem to have me confused with someone else. I am far more critical of the U.S. and I often support the Japanese perception of a great many things over the culture I was raised in. But irrational is irrational and its got nothing to do with the color of my skin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

timeon: I don't know what the commonly held belief is and it's good that people can't take forever to get degrees but that's not the same as suspending someone or placing them on probation for academic reasons. Again, I've never heard of anyone being placed on academic probation or suspended for unacceptably low grades. I'm not saying it never happens but I've a lot of friends who work in universities and neither have any of them ever heard of it. What they have experienced is a lot of pressure to pass people no matter what and to give second, third, etc. chances to students who don't do the work, attend the classes or do the minimum requirements. I'm not saying all students are like that or even most of them but according to my friends, there are far too many who act like helpless, pre-pubescent, lazy, spoiled idiots who expect everything to be handed to them. And now we have a guy being suspended for a tweet about something he did which was completely unrelated to school. I'm not saying I think he should or should have been suspended. Clearly drinking and driving (or riding in this case) is a serious issue and no one should be blase about it. Back to my original point, I simply find it interesting that he was suspended for this while I've never heard of a student, undergrad because I don't know any graduate advisors, being suspended for academic reasons.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Chewitup,

You either really don't understand the obligations and ramifications that come with group affiliation in Japanese society, or you choose to actively pish-posh them because you can't reconcile their existence with your personal interpretation of what does and does not constitue rational. In either case, your disdain for certain realities here does not magically negate their existence.

You do make one accurate observation, though: This indeed would never make it to a civil court in Japan. But I'd go one step further and say the univeristy would have a better than half chance of winning. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this point.

"I think you would be better off stating "the minute it becomes public" because you certainly don't need to do it yourself."

Were I commenting about broader Japanese society, perhaps, but no, I stated it precisely as I meant to. This student took it upon himself to advertise his lack of judgement by tweeting his "alleged" illegal behavior to any following his feed. His actions and the consequences they bring are far more germaine to the discussion that any suggestions that he was somehow victimized or unfairly outed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This indeed would never make it to a civil court in Japan.

Well, after all that posturing and hemming and hawing, I guess we come right back to the post you took such issue with:

Violation of school policy. But I don't think they have a case there either.

Odd that you are so sure they would have a better than even chance of winning the case in court, seemingly based mostly on popular public perception, rather than logic or even previous litigation, fully aware that these rarely go to court.

Such as it is, I agree that they will "get away with it", this being Japan. So I guess that puts me in the "pish-poshing" category. Just keep in mind that despite the unfounded and seemingly drug-induced accusations of Heythia, I pish-posh every society on the globe to some extent and most of all, my own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites