So I have this article I’m supposed to be writing, but instead, I was sitting on my butt playing a little Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. As much as I was trying to justify this as “research,” I’m not really sure how defending America against the invading terrorist armies really applies to patrolling Isla Vista. I mean, it’s not like every weekend hundreds of people from strange lands — like Oxnard or Santa Maria — flood into our town and wreak havoc and destruction upon the community? Wait… I might be on to something. This calls for more research. Lots of research…
Q: Is it true that most of the people arrested every weekend and especially during Halloween are out-of-towners?
A: I don’t have the exact numbers, but it would be fair to say it runs about 50-50. However, before we start pointing the finger at Attila the Hun and the invading hordes as the root of all evil in Isla Vista, we need to look a little deeper. First of all, what brought them to Isla Vista? The party atmosphere, the music and the easy access to the well-stocked library services at UCSB. Well, maybe not the library, but you get the point. Also, the vast majority of people from out of the area who I have cited or arrested are usually visiting friends. So to be honest, maybe half of the people arrested are out-of-towners, but they are mostly here visiting friends.
Q: If I am attacked, what will I get in trouble for defending myself?
A: Everyone has the right to defend themselves. There is nothing stopping you from protecting yourself. However, your right to defend yourself is to make yourself safe and, if necessary, escape from the attack. The second you are safe, you need to stop. For example, someone charges at you and you hit them to stop the charge. A-OK! They then take a swing at you and you knock them down. Still no problem. They are on the ground and you do a couple of nut shots “to keep them down.” And there’s your problem. They were no longer attacking you, and you had the opportunity to get away. The final few shots were no longer self defense, but rather an assault. So basically, knocking down an attacker? Good! Parting nut shot? Bad…
Q: I was stopped for speeding and the officer saw I had my friend’s driver license. He took the license and warned me that I could have been charged with having a fake ID. How can that be if the license was real?
A: When we say “fake ID,” we are basically saying someone under 21 years old has an identification that makes them at least 21 years old or old enough to buy alcohol. Even though the ID was real, it was not yours. If the officer can show any connection to alcohol, he can give you the ticket for possessing a fake ID. There are a lot of ways that we can show you had it for alcohol, not limited to possessing alcohol, coming from a bar or liquor store.
If the ID is really fake or altered, it’s automatically assumed it is for alcohol purposes, and the officer can issue the ticket. The fine for this is about $400, up to 40 hours of community service and the loss of your license for a year. Whatever you do, if you are contacted by a cop, don’t pass off the fake ID as being yours. Even if I wasn’t smart enough to realize you’re not really Admiral Akbar, we check the ID through the state database and will find out pretty quickly that it’s fake. If it’s not fake and you give us someone else’s ID, it’s a felony and you will end up in jail. At that point, you might wish you were someone else.
As the quarter comes to a close, I wish you all the best for your finals and hope you have a great Spring Break. May all your TV appearances be on MTV and not “COPS.” In the mean time, I have a lot of research to do in the field of child protection and plasmids. I wonder if I can write my Xbox 360 off my taxes as a work expense.
Got caught by a cop? Your party popped by the po-po? Ticked 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 UCSB PD at 893-3446.