It’s been awhile since I last wrote a “Question Authority” article, but I don’t want you all to get the idea that I’ve been avoiding you. It’s not that at all. You see, it’s been really crazy and all, you know, with that, ummm, stuff and all that’s been happening… ah, you know. But I’ve really been meaning to get back to you…

Awkward… like that million-to-one chance you meet your friend in the line at Freebirds Monday morning after a hard weekend involving a few friends, a wild party, borrowing twenty bucks, a random pair of lederhosen and a penguin. Hopefully your friend just wants his twenty bucks back, because you have no idea where you put the penguin…

Truthfully, I just got reassigned back to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol office and am back in the thick of it all. Walking around all night talking with people reminded me: If I can help prevent a ticket or two by answering some questions, I need to get back on it. So, here we go!

Is it true that even if I took the tap off the keg of beer before I took it out into the street, I could get a ticket for having an open container?

Yup. Regardless of the container the alcohol is in, once you crack the factory seal, it will be an open container. Whether you take the tap off the keg, put a piece of tin foil over the top of your beer can, screw back on the cap to your fancy bottle of Chablis or jam your thumb into the bottle of Bud, you can’t “reseal” the container for the purpose of taking it into public. So before you step off the curb or walk out onto the sidewalk, make sure to leave the cup – or bottle – or keg – behind.

How loud can a car stereo be before you get pulled over for it?

If your most common answers to questions are “Unh?” or “Wha?” or if you think Garrett Morris was truly providing a helpful service for Chevy Chase’s “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update, then it is likely the stereo is already a bit on the loud side already. But to answer your question, California vehicle law states that a “sound amplification system” – leave it to the lawyers to make even a car stereo sound stupid – cannot be heard more than 50 feet from the vehicle. However, some of the exceptions to this would be sounding a warning – i.e. a horn to prevent an accident, not a warning of “Hey everyone! Here I come!” to the beat of Wu-Tang Clan’s “Bring da Ruckus” – or for political advertising. To be honest, though, I’m probably not going to buy the excuse that blasting Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon” was really an effort to get people to vote for Hillary. And besides: Everyone knows she’s more of a Motorhead fan…

Regardless, if the cop hears the music over 50 feet from your car, you can get pulled over for it. So try to keep your copy of K-Fed’s rap of Captain & Tennille’s greatest hits down to a reasonable level. Not only will the whole world thank you, but the cops won’t pull you over.

If you see me in I.V., don’t hesitate to say “Hi.” And if you have a question or a concern, let me know. In the meantime, take care and have a safe week.