Boo. Did I scare you? No? Good, because that’s not the point. As Halloween approaches, you’re going to be hearing a lot of things about Isla Vista, partying, the cops, cars being towed and a lot more. Scared now? Don’t be. There’s a lot of information out there, but no one is trying to scare you.
The purpose is to give you as much information as possible, so you can make safe and sane decisions about whether or not to hang around I.V. during Halloween weekend or to flee to quieter, less crowded and more peaceful locales. Maybe locales like 50-yard-line seats during a Raiders game. Nothing says, “I love you” like a half-naked fat guy behind you with a giant “R” on his chest jumping up and down rubbing his belly hair in your ear after every 6-inch gain. Personally, that’s scarier than any Freddy or Jason movie could ever be.
I was arrested for being drunk, but I only had a couple of beers. They didn’t test me at all. Isn’t that false arrest?
Probably not. Of course, not knowing the exact circumstances, I can’t say why you were arrested. However, the common misunderstanding is that you have to have a certain amount of alcohol in you before you can be arrested for being drunk in public. The reality is that it’s not the amount of alcohol in your system, but how it affects you and your ability to take care of yourself. For some people, slamming back a six-pack has little affect on their ability to walk, talk or feed themselves without using a bib. On the other hand, some people only need a couple of drinks and they become JoJo the blubbering monkey-boy, saying, “I love you man” to the moldy beanbag chair that reminds him of his all-time hero, Dom DeLuise.
The point is that alcohol, and any drug, has different effects on different people. If it only took two beers for you to jump up on your neighbor’s car and quote from Hamlet while only wearing a Speedo and elf boots, the cops are probably going to be talking to you. There are no “tests” the officers are required to give you. The only tests are the physical symptoms — appearance, odor, bloodshot or watery eyes, balance — and acting in a manner that indicates you are not able to care for your safety. The officer is required to show that your behavior is such that the alcohol is affecting your judgment. And elf shoes? That’s so 2003.
I was told to hold my cup upside down while walking on Del Playa. Will I get into trouble if I don’t?
There is no law or rule saying you must hold your cup upside down. However, by doing it, you are much less likely to have the cops stop and talk with you. One of the most common tickets written in I.V. is for having an open beer in the streets. Anytime a cop sees an upturned cup, we check it out. So if you’re holding an upturned cup, you will probably be checked by the cops three or four times before you get to the end of the block. It also helps to remind you not to walk out of the party with a beer. Lots of tickets are written to people who walk out of parties and into the street with their beer. Make it a habit to turn your cup upside down and you can avoid that problem.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already two weeks into the school year. Halloween is right around the corner and you will probably be seeing a lot of deputies and officers walking around I.V. in the weeks leading up to the big Halloween weekend. If you have questions about something that happened or you’re not sure about a law or rule, go up and ask any of us. We are there to answer questions, too, or you can send your questions to me and I will do whatever I can to give you an answer.
Also, there will be a Town Hall Meeting on October 25 at 6 p.m. at Embarcadero Hall in which you will have an opportunity to meet and ask questions of various local representatives about the upcoming Halloween plans for Isla Vista. This is going to be your chance to have issues and concerns addressed in a public forum. Don’t miss it! But, in the meantime, be safe and have a great weekend. And please, leave the Speedo and elf shoes at home! It’s not as pretty as you might think.
Got caught by a cop? Your party popped by the police? Ticked off by a ticket? If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you. Question authority! E-mail me anytime at: QA@police.ucsb.edu or call me at the Crime Prevention Office: 893-4063.