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5 Dumb Ways to Get Arrested on New Year's Eve

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 30, 2014 8:25 AM

New Year's Eve is a fantastic time to get together with friends and family and reflect on the year coming to a close. It's not really an opportune time to get arrested.

We don't mean that there's ever a great time to be arrested, but with the courts closed around the holidays, you may have to wait a bit longer for your arraignment if you can't make bail.

Here are five dumb ways to get arrested on New Year's Eve:

1. Drinking and Driving.

Let's get this obvious one out of the way. New Year's champagne plus driving can land you in police custody for drunken driving. Pretty simple. Oh, and the cops almost always set up DUI checkpoints on New Year's Eve, and they're completely legal. If you want to drink on New Year's Eve, make sure you have a safe, sober ride home.

2. Public Urination.

Large crowds at many New Year's Eve events can mean long lines for the bathroom. This is probably going to be true of many bars and clubs. The lack of an easy restroom does not make public urination any less illegal (and possibly a sex offense).

3. Bar Fighting.

You might just be the kind of person who, when alcohol is involved, drama and/or fights seem to follow. As far as the law is concerned, you can absolutely get arrested for fighting in a bar or club, regardless of the circumstances of the fight. You may have to explain who swung first to your attorney or a judge.

4. Being a Jerk While Intoxicated.

Just because you're not driving when you're intoxicated doesn't mean you can't get arrested if you're in public. Being super loud and obnoxious at 3 a.m. on a public street may get you arrested for disorderly conduct or public intoxication. In many jurisdictions, the cops won't care if you're actually under the influence of alcohol, so long as you appear intoxicated.

5. Antagonizing Cops.

From a free-speech perspective, it is within your rights to curse at, flip off, or generally insult a police officer. Many of these things are not crimes, although in a more practical sense, they are a really bad idea. Police will likely be out in force on New Year's Eve, so if you don't want them to scrutinize your actions, avoid antagonizing them.

Keep these dumb offenses in mind this year and you might wake up on New Year's Day outside of a holding cell.

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