You Gotta Fight! For Your Right
TO GET SHITFACED! http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,161956,00.html
"Man Sues Over Right to Get Drunk
Friday, July 08, 2005
BOSTON — A man arrested when police showed up to break up a New Year's Eve party at a friend's house has filed a lawsuit, arguing he had a constitutional right to get drunk on private property as long as he didn't cause a public disturbance.
Eric Laverriere (search), 25, of Portland, Maine, was taken into protective custody by Waltham police and locked in a cell for nine hours until the effects of the alcohol wore off.
Legal experts said his lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Boston (search), is the first to challenge a state law allowing police to lock up drunk people against their will for their own protection.
Laverriere argues that the Massachusetts Protective Custody Law (search) was written to combat public drunkenness and that the police had no right to use it to take him from a private residence. He also says he had planned to spend the night at his friend's and wasn't going to be driving anywhere.
"One thing people should be able to do is drink in their own house," Laverriere told The Boston Globe. "That's the beauty of the land of the free."
Waltham Deputy Police Chief Paul Juliano declined to comment on the suit on the advice of the city's legal department.
Several lawyers said they believe police have the authority to take inebriated people into custody, but they said it was the first time the law has been challenged on the grounds that one has a constitutional right to get drunk on private property.
The Protective Custody Law, enacted in 1971, replaced a Colonial-era law that made public drunkenness a crime. It authorizes police to hold people against their will for up to 12 hours if they are drunk and a danger to themselves or others.
Attorney Leonard Kesten, who has defended police departments in civil-rights cases, said if officers are investigating a crime or responding to an incident and discover that someone is drunk and posing a danger, they are obligated to take that person into protective custody.
Police have been sued for failing to take people into protective custody who later died from alcohol poisoning or killed others in drunken-driving accidents.
Laverriere said that he drank several beers, but wasn't drunk, when officers arrived at his friend's duplex saying someone had thrown bottles at a passing police cruiser.
When the partygoers denied throwing bottles, Laverriere said, the officers became angry, prompting him to pick up a friend's camera and start videotaping. Laverriere told the Globe that Officer Jorge Orta ripped the camera from his hands and threw him to the floor, injuring his shoulder.
Laverriere said he told police he had been invited to spend the night at the house, but the officers insisted on taking him into protective custody.
One police report says that Laverriere appeared intoxicated and expressed "displeasure" at being told he had to leave the party. He was then taken into custody. The report says he fell to the floor while resisting Orta's efforts to handcuff him. "
im not a fan of suing the police... but this guys definatly got an awsome point
thats pretty lame that the cops took him from his buddies house. I bet they told him he had to leave and he then resisted because that would have caused him to drive drunk.
Sometimes I think cops do certain things just to have the right to arrest you. i.E. in this case they were going to make this dude leave and drive away or stay and resist their orders. So either way the cops were giving him no options.
What really upsets me is that cops themselves often get extremely drunk and think they are above the law. My good friend recently got ran over while on a skidoo by an intoxicated off duty police officer. Two hours after the incident, the officer blew a .15 blood alcohol content (BAC). The legal limit for BAC is .08. So this guy must have been .20 when the incident happened. :angry
Wow. Well, this should prove to be an interesting debate :spin
pssh, no he doesnt have the right to do that, because he claims he can get as drunk as he wants as a long as he doesnt cause a public disturbance.. well when you are that drunk you dont know any better, thats why people that are that drunk sometimes even drive!
but this is america, and your innocent until proven guilty. the police cant ticket you because they think you may speed. they have to wait untill you do. why is public disturbance any differant?
thats the thing, drinking itself is the crime, so you are proven guilty for getting drunk, isnt that what we are arguing about? ... let me clarify i that was confusing
crime = drinking in your own house
why it is a crime? b/c u gunna cause public disturbance
and secondly, it would be stupid if it was legal because its kind of liek someone holding a gun to your face, you say you wont do nothing until he shoots it, because there is nothing wrong w/holding a gun up to your face, but when he shoots it he committed a crime
those are the rules of the game.
so is it illegal for me to own a gun, or fire it on a range ( drinking in my house)
to protect freedoms you must take risks. thats the trade off. the police arresting him interfer with his freedom to drink. he hasnt violated any laws. being "drunk" in public may be illegal. but the police have no ability to determine what " drunk" is,with out a breathalyzer. and a citizen doesnt need to submit to a test unless they are going to be driving ( implied consent) there for what a cop may call drunk i may call happy.
the police have no right to enter my house and arrest me when i havnt done anything. basic fact. if me and my dad decide to hold guns to each others heads in the privacy of our home thats our business not the police.
normaly, im argueing on the complete other side of this kind of arguement ( criminal justice major, very crime control oriented)
Well anyone is allowed to do as they like in their own home. ;)
i could kill someone in my own home, but that dosnt make it legal :dunno
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