Drunk mistakes don’t just disappear

Why you should always go straight home after the bar

Students from two Ontario universities are no longer in legal trouble for dumb things they did while drunk but their cases serve as reminders that youthful indiscretions don’t just disappear.

At least not when newspapers write about the cases allowing Google searches to forever link names to drunken behvaiour that some (though not all) potential employers will look down upon.

Exhibit A: Two University of Guelph students, both 19, pleaded guilty this week to mischief for shooting passing cars with paintballs around 2 a.m. one January morning. They apologized and got absolute discharges from a judge but the Guelph Mercury still printed their names.

Exhibit B: A University of Waterloo student recently received $2,500 of compensation after being unreasonably thrown in jail for a night after drunkenly questioning a police officer’s driving. The student was deemed to have not met the standard of public intoxication, but the judge still chastised him for “poor judgment” in confronting the cop and not taking his advice to head home. That $2,500 he got will be nice but may not make up for the fact that the Waterloo Record printed his name.

Some get off easier, like the two female University of Victoria students who may have faced break and enter charges for allegedly stealing a bag of barbecue chips from a Saanich, B.C. garage around 3:15 a.m. one night last June. Their names weren’t uttered by police in a cheeky news conference that went far and wide. Court records and Google searches still don’t turn up names.

But still, why risk drunken shenanigans showing up beside your LinkedIn? If you choose to drink so much that you’re prone to dumb decisions at least be wise enough to go straight home after the bar.