In response to increasing enforcement of alcohol-related laws in Isla Vista, the Associated Students Legal Resource Center (LRC) will host a lecture tonight titled “Know Your Rights.”
The event, featuring criminal defense attorney William Mackler, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Embarcadero Hall in I.V. The lecture will emphasize how students can keep police out of their parties and how citizens should respond to police questioning. The free lecture will include a Q-and-A section.
Robin Unander, A.S. attorney for the LRC, said Mackler was asked to speak at the event because of his experience working with students.
“I often refer students to Mr. Mackler,” Unander said. “I trust him to help them sort through all the legal issues surrounding their specific case.”
The LRC is a student-funded and student-run legal aid organization that provides students with attorneys who will answer any legal questions. LRC member Alyssa Huffer said the LRC receives its funding from a $1.50 per student, per quarter lock-in fee, and she also said the organization is co-sponsored by the UCSB Law and Society Dept.
Unander said the LRC is equipped to deal with a variety of legal matters.
“We usually get students who have been cited by the police for various reasons, but we also deal with landlord-tenant cases, as well as family and employment law,” she said.
Huffer said the LRC has seen an influx of students since the Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) began to increase enforcement of alcohol-related crimes in late August, following the $100,000 in grant money received in July from the state Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
“We’ve had an onslaught of UCSB students coming in to speak with lawyers regarding getting fined for various alcohol-involved citations,” Huffer said.
IVFP deputy Sandra Brown said that while she has seen an increase in alcohol citations, she feels that weekend violence has declined overall.
“Two weekends ago we got no fight calls, which is amazing,” she said.
Brown said she wanted to make it clear that the IVFP is simply doing its job when issuing alcohol citations to students who violate the law.
“A lot of times kids think that we are out to get them and we’ll do anything to achieve that goal,” Brown said. “We are just enforcing the law, though. Anything that can help educate students about what we do is a positive thing.”
Unander said she is concerned that students may not be fully aware of what rights they have.
“There is a lot of confusion right now, and there are a lot of myths out there,” she said. “People seem to think they can be underage and drink a beer in someone’s yard in plain view of the police without getting fined. We are hoping to help people make smarter choices by educating them at the lecture.”