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Alcohol Citation Question

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by nathan, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. nathan


    Jul 16, 2004
    Okay here is the situation...

    Me and four other friends are in a car and we're going to the driver's house for a part. The driver is 21, everybody else in the car is either 19 or 18. We stop at a grocery store so the driver can buy beer to take to his house. He buys the beer and stars walking back to his car.

    While he is putting it in the trunk, state police pull up right behind him and start questioning him. The officers make us all get out of a car and accuse us of drinking. They say the car smells like alcohol and they can smell it on our breath. We had not been drinking. Instead of giving us a breathalyzer test, they just say they "won't argue with us, but they know we've been drinking."

    They give the 21 year old driver a huge charge. Along with that, they give me and everybody else in the car a state misdemeanor citation. They said that as soon as the driver put the beer in the trunk, it became the property of everybody in the car.

    This just doesn't make any sense to me. This makes it seem like if you're driving with your parents and they decide to stop at the grocery store to pick up some food and a six pack, then you could be charged with possession of alcohol.

    Something seems strange about this to me. I got a 300 dollar fine and 25 hours of community service for being underage in a car that had unopened bottles of beer in the trunk. I'm going to try and protest this so my question is... does it seem like I have a chance of fighting this? I already talked to another cop who was uninvolved and he said that the officers who gave us the citations needed more to go on.

    Any advice?

    The last words of the officers: "At least you drink good beer"
  2. If it happened as you described (any other pertinent details?), then it doesn't make sense to me either.

    You say you got a fine and community service -- are you saying you already had your day in court?
  3. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    It's kind of ironic that you got busted for drinking before you actually got the chance.

    Maybe these cops came from the Minority Report ATF Division.
  4. I'm wondering if the lesson they were attempting to teach you took hold.
  5. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    So in other words, you guys were drinking, got citations, but the police didn't take enough evidence to "prove" it? I was 19 once too.

    If that is, or is not the case.....I'd definitely fight it.
  6. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Banned

    Nov 8, 2007
    One time my buddy and I got followed back from the super-market to a friend's house. Because all we bought were two bags of ice, and it was a Saturday.

    "License, Registration? Oh, and what's the ice for?"
    "To chill our beverages."
  7. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    This sounds fishy to me. I know that some states have changed their alcohol laws but as far as I know, as long as none of the beers were opened, there shouldn't be a problem. Furthermore, he was walking up to the car and was gonna put them in the trunk. Unopened beer + trunk should equal safe but who knows. When I was back recently to visit my family in KS, I was told that they changed something and it was no longer okay to transport open containers of any kind, anywhere in the car. But you guys hadn't even opened them. Hmm...:meh:

    You should talk with a District Attorney at your courthouse and see what they have to say about it. Hard to believe they'd write up phony charges on you guys though I've seen cops do a lot of really stupid stuff to "make their point". But I hardly doubt that they'd risk their jobs to charge the driver with a major citation without giving him a breathalyzer. What are you leaving out of the story? :)
  8. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006

    They definitely did not have enough to go on to do that. But it is good you didn't fight with them that night, I'd say appeal to the courts and fight them.
  9. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    oh, you can be 19 and transport closed containers in the trunk in Ohio.
  10. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Where are you from Nathan? A quick google search will help you out plenty.

    I know in NY you get a PAC ticket, or something similar. It was quite dumb, underage possession of alcohol. Anyways they can charge you for possession of it, up to the maximum fine, which varies from state to state. They can't charge you for public intoxication without a breath-a-lyzer test, or the good ole walk in a straight line and don't fall test.
    They cannot charge the driver with anything alcohol/car related without a breath test, unless it was an open container. Which it wasn't. However he could get in trouble if he put it in the backseat with you guys, or even stopped to talk through the window to you. Cops could argue that you were going to pass the beer back there, and then when they showed up you made up a trunk 'alibi.'
    Also, with that many underage people in the car, it could be argued that he was an adult buying alcohol for minors which is a pretty big deal in most places.
    Most times when you fight a ticket, it gets dismissed anyways as the officers can't be bothered to show up. Usually dismissed and you're put on probation. (I think it was 60 days in NY)
  11. Jiggybass


    Nov 15, 2005
    Sudbury, Canada
    Oh man, the cops are like that here too, but for EVERYTHING!!!!

    If you're driving down a lonely road at night, Bam! You must be high. :rolleyes:
    If you change lanes too quick with an officer behind you, you are obviously trying to evade them :rolleyes:
    If an officer sees a bunch of teens get into a car, you must all be drunk, and up to no good.

    It's friggen ridiculous. I got pulled over for driving down a road on the limit. I apparently looked suspicious because I wasn't speeding. My eyes were red due to springtime allergies, and the dude was trying to pull me out of my car to search it. I locked the doors and got his badge number and filed a nice complaint.

    My friend and I were driving from a party the morning after, he's 19 (legal age) I'm 18. We get pulled over right after turning off his street and tried to convince us that we were drunk, but he wouldn't breathalyse us, he refused to, yet he tried to write us up for it. Another call to the station while he was talking to us, got another cop to come down, and he said we were good to go.

    The best one by far is when I got pulled over during a snowstorm, and the reason was "Accelerated to quickly" There was a friggen foot of snow on the ground!!!!!! How could I possibly be accelerating too fast??!?!?!! I didn't even get up to 20kph!.

    I swear I am sick and tired of these lame cops in my area. Don't get me wrong, there are some great ones out there that'll help you outta trouble (few times), but these lame pricks are just ruining it for them.

    I hate my town.

    To the OP, contest that to the MAX!!! Don't let them BS you like that.
  12. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    So the cops were scoping out the grocery store, waiting for someone to walk out with alcohol? There seems to be a part of the story that's missing here, how did the cops come upon the car? You must have stood out.
  13. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    Heh, how did your mom like being in labor for 24 years? Musta hurt. Because you clearly skipped the part of being teenager and up to 22ish...

    17-19 cops did nothing but pull me over and search my car for "your car fits description" or "Your right tail light is slightly brighter then your left" or good ol` "I forgot why i pulled you over". Teenagers are dumb trouble-on-two-feet or even worse 4 wheels, cops keep them in check.
  14. Hawaii Islander

    Hawaii Islander Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Rio Rico, AZ
    I'll take the OP's word that his story is complete. Can't believe how cynical people can get. :atoz: (I like this emoticon! :D)

    To the OP, fight this in court and it probably will go away (no fines, no probation, nothing!). So long as the alcohol was in the package (bag) and unopened, when the driver went to put it into the trunk of the car (and you were not drinking and did not drink beforehand), the police don't have a case (in the USA). Even the most backwards local, they couldn't get away with prosecuting a case like yours and win. IMV
  15. Robert B

    Robert B Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Hampton, Va USA
    You're not really seeking legal advice on a bass guitar forum... Are you?
  16. peterbright


    Jan 23, 2007
    On The Bayou
    I hope not...talk to an attorney. You don't want this on your record...it never goes away.
  17. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    If by never you mean 7 years, then yes.
  18. peterbright


    Jan 23, 2007
    On The Bayou
    Try becoming any professional that requires a license & you will see what I mean.
  19. XtreO


    Jan 2, 2008
    Can't quote american laws to support you, but you got a case allright.
  20. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    San Jose, CA
    A man has a point... Did they at least leave you the case of beer? Or they took it?

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