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Top 5 Ways to Get Arrested Tailgating

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You’ve waited all year for this weekend. Game Day, ladies and gentlemen, is finally upon us. But don’t let your excitement get carried away or you, likewise, will get carried away, only in handcuffs. Yep, you can arrested for tailgating. Take this advice from Columbus, Ohio criminal defense lawyers Yavitch & Palmer and avoid ending up in the slammer.

1.) Carry your beer to the game.

Open containers of alcohol are still illegal in Ohio. Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.62(3) couldn’t be clearer. We can’t carry an open container of booze in a public place. There are some exceptions to this. But take my word for it. There’s no exception in Columbus, Ohio for Ohio State football games and Lane Avenue sidewalks.

But what about the “red cup” exception. This is unwritten lore, forever scribed on RVs, trucks, and tailgates throughout Ohio State campus. We are allowed to have beer, as long as it’s in a red cup. Well, this is almost true. But your freedom lies in the soft hands of the local police.

Deputies are often willing to look the other way, or at least not look directly into your red cup. But remember: You carry your cup at your own risk, and my pesky “jackass rule” (see below) always applies. If you’re acting like a jackass, the police will treat you like a jackass. You’ll find yourself penned in a holding cell waiting for transport to the county clink for the night. Trust me, the police won’t care about your red cup.

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2.) Sneak a flask into the game.

We know you’ve been drinking since 5 a.m. when you rolled into your tailgate spot. We know the college stadium doesn’t sell beer. And we know it’s hard to stop the “medicine” for three hours in the afternoon during the game.

The best way to combat the post-drinking slumber is to postpone the inevitable and just keep on drinking. But don’t think you can get away with the flask approach. The stadium crew is watching. The guy there with his kids is watching. The cops are watching. We’ve seen drunken idiots pulled from their seats in the first quarter. Well, guess what. Even if you’re not a drunken idiot, they’re watching for the contraband.

Big Brother wants a safe game environment. Right or wrong, that means they don’t want your flask full of vodka or whiskey in the stadium. When they catch you, they will arrest you and eject you. So, if you can’t make it through the game without a “wee bit of the creature,” just save your ticket money and watch at your tailgate (but see above), or go to a bar, or just go home (in a cab — see below).

3.) Drive home.

Just because there are 50,000 people driving in traffic doesn’t mean you won’t get caught drunk behind the wheel. Maybe you think you can just “blend in.” Or you might think you’ll sober up by the time you break free of traffic.

Think again. What if the car behind you hits your bumper in front of the cop directing traffic? What if you run over a curb while turning onto Lane Avenue? What if you run into a sobriety checkpoint on your way home to Powell? What if? What if? What if?

Trust an experienced criminal and OVI/DUI defense attorney in Ohio. It happens. And it happens every weekend during football season. So, call the wife. Take a cab. Download the Uber app. Do something. It will be cheaper than court fines, legal fees, and Bureau of Motor Vehicle reinstatement fees.

4.) Drink underage/use your fake ID.

We still have to be 21 to drink. No one says it’s fair we can go to war at 18, but we can’t legally take a drink until we’re 21. But that’s how it is.

It’s only common sense the police are watching for the younglings. They know the guy with a red cup at a tailgate with his 20-foot RV and his 40-something work colleagues probably isn’t the trouble-maker. They’re looking for the guys with no shirts and painted faces running around with hyper testosterone levels (refer to jackass rule). And if that guy looks underage, they’re going to start checking IDs.

Every year on Game Day, the underage drinkers come out in droves. They end up in our Ohio criminal defense office in similar numbers. Don’t think for a second you’re safe in the confines of your frat house lawn, even if you have the orange fence around it. They will find a way to check you out. And if you are dumb enough to produce your buddy’s ID or some other fake, you will make your problem that much worse.

A lot of underage drinkers then commit the next fatal mistake. Every Monday during football season Courtroom 4C of the Franklin County Municipal Court is lined with underage drinkers pleading guilty. It’s like they think if they just plead guilty, their parents won’t find out.

Guess what? It’s still a public record. And when they finally tell Mom and Dad they couldn’t get that job because of the underage drinking offense, the delay will make it worse. Or, what about the next time when you get caught again. The ineffective rug-sweeping will be readily apparent then.

The moral here is this: Don’t make the problem worse by trying to deal with it alone. Get a lawyer. Get a good lawyer. Get an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Ohio. It will make a difference.

5.) Act like a jackass.

Want to see the inside of a police wagon? Tell a cop to go f— himself. Want to get cuffed so tight your hands go numb? Run around nude on Lane Avenue screaming “F— Michigan.”

Get the picture? The idea is simple: The police are there to keep the peace. That officer high and tall on his horse just wants things to go smoothly. They really don’t want to ruin your day. They don’t want the trouble, the paperwork, the extra effort attached to a nasty arrest. But sometimes they don’t have a choice.

If you dare a cop to do his job, he will do it. If you give a cop no choice, he has no choice. Getting arrested sucks. Going to jail sucks. Hiring a lawyer sucks. Don’t be a jackass.

Get the right Columbus DUI lawyer

Like anything, prevention is the best medicine. But we get it. Mistakes happen. Just make sure there’s an experienced criminal litigator to help. These are complicated, life-changing messes. Get the right help from the right Columbus DUI lawyer.

Contact Yavitch & Palmer by using our online form to schedule an appointment at our downtown Columbus office, or call us at 614-224-6142.

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