A University of Georgia student was arrested over the weekend for carrying an open beer bottle while walking in public. The student had told the officer that she thought it was perfectly legal for her to walk around with an open container since she was over the age of 21. The woman was informed by the officer that it is illegal to walk around on public streets carrying open containers of alcohol in Athens. She was then arrested for the offense as well as for public drunkenness.
Now the student faces serious consequences for the arrest. She may face additional consequences if she is convicted. Unfortunately, its seems that the student is now facing these charges and the possibility of having an arrest on her record all because of a misunderstanding.
The woman, who is of the legal age to drink alcohol, was arrested during the Athens Terrapin Twilight Criterium while walking along East Washington Street, The Red & Black reported. The UGA student had allegedly ignored the officer when he first stopped her because she had assumed that the officer was trying to accuse her of underage drinking.
After the woman ignored the officer’s first attempt to stop her, the officer reported that he had attempted to explain that even though the student was over 21, it was still illegal for her to carry the open beer bottle in the area where she had been walking. The officer then began writing a citation. During this time, the officer claims that the student stood too close to him while he was writing the citation, and the student refused to back away from the officer when he asked her to move. The officer claims that he arrested the student because she appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and was starting a scene in front of others.
Although the student may have thought that she was not doing anything wrong when she was stopped by the officer, she should have discussed any misunderstandings with the officer in a respectful manner. However, it’s very easy for folks to get upset when they are accused of breaking the law. The woman may be facing some harsh consequences for how she handled the encounter with the officer, but she may still be able to avoid or reduce some of these consequences by seeking guidance from an experienced and aggressive defense attorney.
Source: The Red & Black, “UGA students charged with DUI, open container violations,” Kelly Whitmire, April 25, 2013