Nitwit Posts Drinking and Driving Video to Internet
A Hawaii man who stupidly posted a video on the Internet of himself drinking and driving is facing open container and other charges, though he has dodged DUI charges so far.
Richard Godbehere Jr., 53, used a lighter to pop the cap on a Beck’s bottle in a video that he posted to LiveLeak.com, proclaiming, “This is celebration time!” The video is titled, “Let’s Go Driving & Drinking!”
“I’m so happy to be drinking and driving,” Godbehere says in the video while a Santana tune jams on the radio. “We all know drinking and driving is against the law; you’re not supposed to do that. But they didn’t say anything about driving and drinking.”
Turns out he’s wrong. The police caught wind of the video and slapped him with consuming or possessing liquor while operating a vehicle charges, as well as driving without a license.
Godbehere apparently told police officers that he was joking in the video, and that it was cream soda that he was drinking, not beer.
“Our officers spend a lot of time and effort keeping our roads safe, but it is also a shared responsibility with our community,” Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry told a local TV station. “Our traffic laws are in place for a reason, and Mr. Godbehere’s blatant disregard for those laws is the type of behavior that won’t be tolerated.”
Why was Godbehere in such a celebratory mood? “I’m debt free,” he says in the video. “I don’t owe nobody a damn thing.” Maybe not for long. The consumption or possession while driving charge carries a fine of up to $2,000.
Of course, he hasn’t been convicted of anything yet. “A video showing a defendant intentionally, knowingly or recklessly consuming (or even possessing) ‘intoxicating liquor’ while operating a motor vehicle or moped upon any public street, road, or highway in the State of Hawaii, constitutes evidence which goes a long way to support a conviction for a violation,” says Timothy I. Mac Master, a DUI attorney in Hawaii. However, Godbehere still has a chance to mount a defense.
“Yes, the video proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is an idiot,” Mac Master says. “However, isn’t there room for some reasonable doubt that the defendant could be a publicity-hungry idiot who was merely pretending to consume ‘intoxicating liquor’ while really consuming a non-alcoholic beverage?”
The state would also still have to prove that the defendant is being prosecuted in the correct jurisdiction and could pinpoint the offense on or about a specific date– although Godbehere doesn’t help his case in the video by mentioning that it was taken near the date of his birthday, and commenting on the Kauai geography as he drives along the beach.
“They way I look at it is,” Godbehere says, “if you’re driving and then start drinking, you know when to stop.” Before posting a video to the Internet would have been a good place.
“This one is probably a stupid criminal trick worthy of Letterman’s Hall of Fame,” says Mac Master. “However, the State should still have some work to do to convict the defendant because ‘probably,’ and even highly likely, won’t always extinguish all reasonable doubt. Sometimes blatant stupidity is your best defense.”