Monday, October 29, 2007
See MSNBC's article reported as a top story by KSBY News, entitled
"Thousands fill Isla Vista to celebrate Halloween weekend; hundreds arrested"
for numbers on those in attendance and those with legal trouble.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I sincerely hope that the ongoing Halloween festivities are moving along safely and enjoyably for the celebrants and the 160+ law enforcement officers in attendance. If you're like me, you have heard the Foot Patrol say the following over and over again (for years, actually): It's not the local residents that we are concerned about, it is the out-of-towners that cause the majority of the problems. Uh, okay, then are we to expect that the 160+ officers will be arresting and handing out citations only (or even mostly) to visitors? Doubtful. If this year is anything like years past, the majority of arrests and citations will involve the local college-aged population (mostly SBCC and UCSB students). Without a doubt there will be some visitors cited and arrested, but they will be in the minority; as there are far fewer of them AND, not all of them are monsters (although I'm sure some will be wearing monster costumes). Many are friends, relatives, girlfriends, and boyfriends of locals; not criminals. Well, at least, not until they have been dealt with by the Foot Patrol. After all, we are all no more than a court date away from being rendered a criminal; no one is immune... Especially not the locals.
Be sure to read my last post (immediately below) for tips on how to avoid problems with the police. Also, visit my website at http://www.ivlawyer.com/ for more relevant information.
Again, be safe.
P.S. Another talking point heard less often, but which is similarly designed to communicate to the locals (for public relations purposes) that they are not going to be treated unfairly by the police for engaging in myriad fairly ordinary college activities (read: drinking alcohol), is that "90 % of it will be citations" (implying no jail, no crime, no big deal). It is important to point out that more than 50 % of the 90 % may cause the person cited significant penalties with longterm negative effects (e.g., year-long drivers license suspensions).
Friday, October 26, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I hope this law saves a life. If you think about it, though, it serves to make nearly every single-fatality DUI accident an event where two lives are lost. At least two families will lose a loved one forever for every fatal accident caused by an act of DUI; this is what the law really says. It dramatically compounds the human tragedy in the hope that doing so will influence people's future behavior. There are some that believe that whenever the law gets tough, people take notice and change their ways for the better so that they will not end up in its clutches. I sincerely hope so. However, I, unfortunately, cannot accept this premise. The laws are already very tough. No, we don't impose the death penalty on DUI defendants yet, but we have steadily moved in that direction for decades. In spite of the many laws that have been enacted in recent times to increase the jail time and the fines, to worsen the drivers license consequences, and make it easier to convict someone accused of DUI, DUI still presents an unacceptable risk to human life. The number lives lost each year due to DUI each year are still counted in the 10's of thousands. Laws can help, but they can't completely solve the problem. I challenge law makers to address the problem holistically. Public transportation and education are two very effective and under-utilized deterrents to the behavior.
I know I'll be talking to you someday. You'll be in jail, in a jumpsuit, and I'll be telling you (through the glass on one of those phones) that I wish that you read this post before it was too late for you and the person(s) that you killed. Consider this your early wake up call.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Okay, now onto my latest gripe: Women getting arrested because they are women. Yes Isla Vistans, look outside between midnight and 3 a.m., it's happening at an alarming rate. Women who are walking around after midnight are getting arrested, at least in part, because they are women. Is this the "official policy" of the IVFP?? They will deny it. However, various of their members have been heard to say, by several arrest subjects, that they are being arrested for their own safety. After all, a lot of sexual assault occurs in Isla Vista. Uh, okay, thanks for arresting me! How thoughtful! Is this just another form of sexual assault? Probably not; especially if the officers are not touching and grabbing the arrest subjects for purposes of sexual arousal. And we can assume that only a small percentage of our law enforcement friends are actually that warped and desperate. However, the non-arousing arrest amounts to discriminatory enforcement in violation of the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. This can be illustrated by a simple question: Are men getting arrested, or even contacted by the police, at similar levels of intoxication? In fact, don't men actually have to be drunk, or at least rowdy, to get arrested for public intoxication (647(f) PC))? The fact is, we, as a society, are less protective of our young men than our young women. BUT, is that a valid reason to criminalize the women and make them spend the night in jail, etc., when we let men get so drunk that they end up passed out and snoring in the street? Hey IVFP, listen up! Where is it in your training manual that says you can't, or shouldn't, simply offer the young lady a ride/walk home. Isn't that truly in her best interests?
Friday, October 5, 2007
(g) When a person has violated subdivision (f), a peace officer, if he or she is reasonably able to do so, shall place the person, or cause him or her to be placed, in civil protective custody. The person shall be taken to a facility, designated pursuant to Section 5170 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, for the 72-hour treatment and evaluation of inebriates. A peace officer may place a person in civil protective custody with that kind and degree of force which would be lawful were he or she effecting an arrest for a misdemeanor without a warrant. No person who has been placed in civil protective custody shall thereafter be subject to any criminal prosecution or juvenile court proceeding based on the facts giving rise to this placement. This subdivision shall not apply to the following persons:
(1) Any person who is under the influence of any drug, or under the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and any drug.
(2) Any person who a peace officer has probable cause to believe has committed any felony, or who has committed any misdemeanor inaddition to subdivision (f).
(3) Any person who a peace officer in good faith believes will attempt escape or will be unreasonably difficult for medical personnel to control.
So, you ask, if you fit within the above criteria, why did you get taken to jail and why are you now charged with crime? Well, one question to ask is whether there is a "sobering center" facility in the immediate area with a contract with that municipality to offer a safe (alcohol free) environment for you to hang out while you inch toward sobriety; and, no, it doesn't usually take 72 hours before they will decide to let you go. Four to six hours is more ordinary. In the City of Santa Barbara, there is such a facility. In other parts of South Santa Barbara County there is not. Accordingly, if you are arrested in Isla Vista for Public Intoxication (a nightly occurrence), you are going to jail. There is talk of installing a sobering center in Isla Vista, but until that happens, being drunk in public in Isla Vista (and other parts of Santa Barbara County) is a crime.