Super Bowl in America means football, food, fun, friends, an extravagant halftime show, big-budget commercials and in general, a good time. For most, the big game leads to a super hangover and indigestion. But for some, it ends in a night in jail. Here are some tips from Lawyers.com on how to keep yourself (or your friends) out of jail on Super Bowl Sunday.
NOTE: The content on this page in NOT legal advice. The author is NOT a lawyer. Please consult with a lawyer if you have the need for professional legal advice.
Common Reasons For Arrest On Super Bowl Sunday
Here are some of the ways that you might find yourself in pigskin-derived legal trouble on the day of the big game. The information below is NOT legal advice. It is based on the infographic from Lawyers.com.
Drunk In Public
Football fans have a habit of taking their normal urges—mostly drinking, scuffling and gambling—to excess in February. Drunk driving arrests usually spike across the nation on Super Bowl Sunday.
One obvious piece of advice, if a police officer tells you to do something, just comply and don’t try to challenge the order. And whatever you do, don’t get physical. Once you resist, you might create a second crime.
When dealing with large crowds of drunk people, Police will usually be more interested in keeping order and avoiding major incidents than locking up everyone they see. However, public intoxication arrests are at the discretion of the officer, for people impaired in “thought or process,” so behave accordingly. If you’re going to be drunk in public, it’s probably a good idea not to draw attention to yourself.
Football stadiums are often surrounded by hotels, bars, and restaurants, so there is little reason to drive — and little incentive, with traffic abundant and parking scarce. Drinking and driving is incredibly stupid and not something that you should ever do. The best way to avoid the situation entirely is to just take a cab.
If you do drive and get stopped, comply with the officer. Once you start arguing, you’re sure to start increasing charges. Most lawyers will tell you that you should never consent to a vehicle search or submit to a field sobriety test. Drivers risk losing their license if they refuse a breathalyzer but might accrue less evidence against themselves for criminal charges. Again, consult a lawyer if you have questions on how to handle this type of situation.
Thinking about hosting a hose party for the big game? It might not be worth the risk. Hosts can be held responsible for their guests’ safety, especially if they go overboard on the drinks. Talk to a lawyer before you host a house party. Your lawyer might suggest that serve food at your football party so that you can legitimately say there was enough there to help with the absorption of alcohol. Don’t let your guests drive home drunk. Take their keys and call them a cab. And of course, don’t serve minors.
Also, if you rent a house to stay in for Super Bowl weekend, make sure you sign a contract and be aware of parking and noise issues in the neighborhood.
Keep noise at a reasonable level. If the neighbors are complaining, then you might get a visit from the Police, which could lead to a house search. At that point, it’s not fun to be at your party anymore.
Illegal drug arrests also often spike around the Super Bowl. Even if Marijuana is legal in your area, if you are going to smoke marijuana, it’s probably not a good idea to put it in your car. Try to lose the drugs and juts have a good time. And if you want to dispose of your illegal drugs, do it properly. Flushing drugs down the toilet can impact wildlife and even create Meth Gators.
Your Super Bowl tickets probably cost you a small fortune. If you read the fine print on your tickets, it probably says that they can kick you out for being rowdy. Use common sense. Don’t throw anything, harass anybody or drink and start interfering with other people’s enjoyment of the game. Picking a fight or throwing up at the game could get you arrested.
Betting on the game may or may not be legal depending on where you live. If you want to bet on the game, check your local laws. There might even be a legal off-track betting parlor near the stadium. Also, keep in mind that your office betting pools are probably illegal.
Legitimate street sellers will have a badge and license. There probably won’t be any penalties for buying phony tickets, other than wasting a lot of money, but vendors selling counterfeits can be prosecuted for fraud.