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'You Don't Need to Arrest Me, I'm a Republican'

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By Deanne Katz, Esq. on October 12, 2012 9:01 AM

Charlene Idelle Hunziker learned the hard way that police can, and do, arrest Republicans if they break the law after a drunken public outburst.

Hunziker was in a P.F. Changs in West Des Moines, Iowa when she started ranting about politics. In front of other patrons she started yelling about the virtues of Mitt Romney and was extremely agitated when the restaurant asked her to leave.

Didn't she ever learn that politics isn't polite dinner conversation?

Restaurant employees called police because they were worried Hunziker might hurt someone. When the cops arrived she had an excuse all prepared.

When officers approached Hunziker she told them they didn't need to be there because 'she was a Republican,' according to the police report.

Shockingly, this didn't make the officers leave.

One officer asked Hunziker if she could consent to a breathalyzer. She refused and instead continued to yell at the officer about political issues, reports Huffington Post.

Contrary to Hunziker's view, anyone can be arrested if they break the law regardless of political party. The law is bipartisan in that it applies to everyone, a fact Hunziker was probably unhappy about.

If she'd chosen to give her political message at a normal tone without disturbing other patrons, Hunziker would probably have been fine. While Ms. Manners would frown on her behavior, there's nothing illegal in discussing politics.

Political speech is protected as free speech in the Constitution, even if others disagree with your politics. If someone tries to stop you from calmly giving your political opinion in a public place at an appropriate time, direct them to your attorney.

There is something illegal in causing a scene and disturbing people, regardless of the topic, especially if you've had too much to drink.

Despite the lack of breathalyzer, police must have had reason to believe Hunziker was drunk because prosecutors charged her with public intoxication after seeing the police report.

She did tell them she had been drinking although insisted she wasn't drunk, according to West Des Moines Patch. That may have been an underestimation.

After being arrested Hunziker still had an excuse for her behavior. She was just 'doing this because she was a good mother.' Her daughter, who reportedly called her an embarrassment and walked out of the restaurant, would probably disagree.

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