So at what point do we realize that maybe enough is enough?

Good things, when taken in excess, have definite negative side effects.

Personally, I’m addicted to movies. Good ones, bad ones – it doesn’t matter. You can tell me it was the worst movie ever and I will want to see it even more. But at what point is it too much? Maybe it was when I sat through a Tara Reid movie marathon. Or worse, when my wife frustratingly announced my daughter’s first word: “Shrek.”

And what is the point of this? Well, it actually has a lot to do with how we approach Isla Vista. It’s a great place. It can be fun, exciting and new. A lot of new students have explored the weekend – and even some weekday – party scenes. I’m concerned about students knowing when enough is enough. Already in the first few weeks of school, the jails and hospitals have been overloaded with both new and returning students who had “just one more” and ended up passing out in a bush or being carried back to the residence hall in a shopping cart. What fun.

I’m not going down the Puritan road to lecture you that taking a sip of beer is like drinking from Satan’s horn. Let’s be real. It’s not that one drink that caused the fight, or that one shooter that landed you head first in the bush yakking while declaring, “You’re the best, man. I love you,” to a nearby pelican. It’s the third, fourth or more that put you over the edge and got you in trouble. When it comes down to it: Know your limit. Then have one less. I.V. will still be fun and it may save you an unwanted stay at the Santa Barbara County Gray Bar Motel Suites.

I was on Del Playa when I had two beers. I wasn’t drunk, but I was nervous about walking past some cops. Since I’m only 19 years old, can I be arrested for being drunk anyway?

Whether you’re 19, 21, 29 or 99, the standard for being drunk in public is the same. Are you unable to care for your safety or the safety of others? That’s the general gauge of whether you can be arrested for public intoxication. However, being underage and drinking is something that may be considered when looking at the ability of the person in question to make good decisions and care for their safety. It doesn’t mean they will be arrested – just that they may not have as much experience with alcohol.

It’s my first year here and I was told that it was no big deal to just grab a bike out of a bike rack and use it. Will I get in trouble for that?

No, no, please help yourself. In the meantime, please don’t mind me while I go through your wallet and help myself to your cash and credit cards.

Really? If you just stop to think about it, stealing is stealing. Taking a bike makes you a thief. So many students each year get caught riding stolen bikes. They often face criminal charges, ranging from theft to possession of stolen property. Often the first thing I hear is they had a bike stolen, so they needed to get one to replace it. You may be a nice person, but if you’re taking someone else’s bike, you’re a thief.

I hope your school year is going well – it’s only just begun and I wish you a fun and safe year. If you have a problem, get in trouble or were just wondering about something cop-related, please ask me. I want to be there to help get you through the bumps. Take care and have a safe year.

Got caught by a cop? Party popped by the popo? Ticked off by a ticket? If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you, Question Authority! E-mail me anytime at or call UCSB Police Dept. at 893-3446.