Well, we made it through Halloween pretty much intact. A bit on the crowded side, but overall people seemed to get along pretty well. However, there were still some problems. Lesson 1: lots of alcohol + having to pee + cliff = short lesson in man evolving more from monkeys than eagles.

Most of the people made it through that weekend with some decent memories. Others, maybe not so decent memories, and some, probably with little or no memories at all. With over 700 citations and arrests, there were a few who did not have as much fun as they had hoped for. But, not to worry. That’s why I sit here, like a monkey at the keyboard, giving my eagle-like wisdom to help out those who need it.

I was arrested over Halloween for drunk in public (DIP) and I have to go to court. I have never been to court and I don’t know what to do. What should I wear? How should I act? What should I expect?

After a miserable time in jail, you now have to deal with the huge court system and you have no idea what to expect. You kind of feel like a lone Jedi up against the mighty Empire intent on crushing your puny rebellion. Don’t worry. When you show up to court, it won’t be Darth Vader sitting on the bench waiting to cut you down with the mighty lightsaber of law. Instead, it will be just a regular judge who will help guide you through the process while wearing a robe similar to your own Jedi cloak.

When you do go to court, follow some of these basic rules and you will come out of it OK.

1. Dress appropriately. Appropriate for court, that is. The number of people who show up in cut-offs, halter tops and mini-skirts would surprise you. And those are just the guys…

2. Be polite. You may hate my guts for arresting you, but save that up for a challenging game of foosball later on. When in court, politeness scores points. Many cases come down to a “you said, the cop said” situation. The judge will have to decide whom to believe. Surprisingly, being rude and abusive does not give your “I was so sweet and innocent when the cops arrested me” defense much strength.

3. Be truthful. Any lying to the court at all will destroy your defense or even possibly the opportunity to participate in alternative programs. If you are caught lying once, it will pretty much taint everything you say after that.

4. Do not try the Jedi mind trick. No waving your fingers at the judge and saying, “I’m not the drunk you’re looking for…” Trust me. It just doesn’t work. Although many have tried… if you haven’t done it already, consider contacting the public defender’s office at (805) 568-3470. It can give you more specific information on options that the court offers such as community service, Zona Seca or even the possibility of contesting your case.

If I’ve been drinking and I call for a CSO escort, will the CSOs call the police on me?

Simple answer. No. Although the CSOs are employees of the UCSB Police Dept. and carry police radios, they don’t call us just because their escort has been drinking. When an officer arrests someone for public intoxication, the reason is that he feels that the person is unable to care for his/her safety. If you call for a CSO to escort you home, that’s showing some pretty good common sense. However, the CSOs also do have to be wary of accepting responsibility for someone who is drunk to the point they are out of control or getting sick. They will call for medics if someone is sick or passed out or they may refuse to escort someone who is out of control. They cannot accept the liability for someone who might get them, or someone else, hurt.

As we approach the holiday season, I would like to encourage everyone to join me and members of the Isla Vista community at the next I.V. Town Hall meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. This will be a great chance to talk to community leaders about I.V. holiday events, charity drives and get some great advice for protecting your homes from the winter burglaries that happen every year. Hope to see you there.

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: (805) 893-4063.