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Don't Let Arrest for Public Drunkenness at Deltopia Affect Your Future

Steven R. Andrade March 25, 2015

Deltopia, the annual street party marking the start of the spring quarter at UC-Santa Barbara, attracts thousands of partygoers to Isla Vista ready to have fun. But excessive alcohol consumption and underage drinking can be a volatile mixture. Deltopia 2014 ended in a riot with more than 100 arrests and dozens of injuries. As a result, you can be sure there will be a strong police presence for Deltopia 2015, which is April 4.

Public Drunkenness at Deltopia

UC-Santa Barbara students make up the bulk of Deltopia partiers and many may be surprised to learn that you can be arrested for public drunkenness at a street party. We understand how easy it is to overdo it at a large street party like Deltopia, which draws thousands of people. It's important to act safely while having fun. An arrest could have far reaching ramifications beyond ruining your weekend.

If you are arrested for being drunk in public, DUI, or anything at Deltopia 2015, you should take the charge seriously and contact a Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help you. Attorney Steven R. Andrade owns property in Isla Vista and rents housing to students, so he understands things can get out of hand sometimes when you were just having fun. Andrade Law Offices offers discounts to students facing citations and charges related to Deltopia.

Being Drunk in Public in Santa Barbara

Conviction of a criminal offense can stay on your record permanently and adversely affect educational and employment opportunities, in addition to carrying hefty financial penalties. Any job application you fill out will ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime and instruct you to explain it if you have. If you lie and are caught, you won't be hired or can be fired.

Do you want to have to explain being arrested for public drunkenness every time you fill out a job application?

Here's what you should know about California's law pertaining to public intoxication:

  • The applicable law defines public intoxication as being guilty of “disorderly conduct,” which is a misdemeanor. “Disorderly conduct” does not go down any better than “public intoxication” on a job application. It is far better to drink responsibly and not risk being arrested.

  • A person may be found guilty of disorderly conduct for:

  • Being in a condition in which he or she is unable to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others

  • Interfering with or obstructing or preventing the free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way because of being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene (a gasoline additive), or any combination thereof.

  • Upon arrest, you may be confined for 72 hours in a facility for the “treatment and evaluation of inebriates.”

  • A conviction may be punished with up to six months of jail time, fines, and probation. Repeat offenders with two prior convictions may face up to a year in jail.

  • The law requires a person to be in public when committing the infractions above for it to be considered public drunkenness or disorderly conduct, which would likely include attending a street party like Deltopia. The police and courts may decide sitting in a parked car, even in the back seat and not driving, is in public.

  • Unable to exercise care for your own safety could include not being able to stand or stumbling into traffic. Not being able to stand or lying on the ground asleep (passed out) may meet the test of obstructing or preventing free use of a public way.

Be smart and safe, and you should not have a problem at Deltopia. With 15,000 people in the street partying, police will be looking for the troublemakers and those who draw attention to themselves.

How you react to a police officer who questions your state of intoxication can go a long way toward heading off an arrest. Remaining calm and cooperating with police may convince them that, regardless of how much you have had to drink, you are not a danger to your own or anyone else's safety. If asked to “move along,” promptly doing so negates a charge that you are blocking the street or sidewalk.

Criminal Offense Lawyer in California

If you are arrested for being drunk in public, remember that you have a right to be silent. You should politely decline to answer questions until your attorney is present and ask to be allowed to contact your lawyer.

Contact Andrade Law Offices as soon as possible if you are arrested at Deltopia 2015 for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, drug possession, underage alcohol consumption, DUI, or any criminal offense. We will respond to your call quickly to meet your immediate needs and can work to have charges dropped, negotiate a fair outcome without going to court, or defend you at trial.

At Andrade Law Offices, our Criminal Offense Lawyer in California understands the budget constraints of college students and discount our fees. Call to reach our offices at 211 Equestrian Avenue in Santa Barbara.