Saturday, November 3, 2007

A quiet Halloween

Compared with 2004, and other busy years, this Halloween celebration in Isla Vista was a quiet one. There were only 228 arrests (compared with as many as 700 in previous years). There were only 200, or so, citations for MIP and other alcohol related misconduct. The best news of all is that no one got seriously hurt. Apart from the fact that some community members are just disturbed by people letting their hair down and having a good time, the purpose of spending over $1,000,000 in law enforcement overtime compensation and other related expenses was to save lives; and it worked. Of course, the dependent premise is that someone would have died had they not all been there. Of that, we cannot be sure. But, better safe than sorry; no question. What is worth thinking about is that as many as 150 community members, who had no criminal records before the celebrations started, will, within the next few months incur convictions for mostly misdemeanors; the most common among them will be public intoxication (647(f) PC)). It is unfortunate that the lack of a sobering center Isla Vista, as I have pointed out in a previous post, in and of itself, is the number one factor why many will now have to do battle in court, or simply accept the fate of becoming convicted of a crime by pleading guilty. Maybe sometime soon the community leaders will make effectuating the State's policy preference to sober-up the intoxicated, see Penal Code section 647(g), a high priority, rather than criminalizing large swaths of the local student population every year at Halloween (and throughout the year). After all, we don't need any more "criminals" in our community, do we?

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