You can't drive while drunk, you shouldn't tweet while drunk, but you can absolutely annoy the hell out of random people while totally smashed. Even cops. Especially cops. HUMP DAY!
Technically, they can't arrest you for it. Technically...
The Court of Appeals in the great state of Indiana ruled yesterday that part of the state's public intoxication laws are unenforceable. The law said that a drunk person who "harasses, annoys, or alarms another person" in public could be arrested. The court ruled that "annoy" was too vague of a term. From the WSJ Law Blog:
"Annoy has been defined as: 'to disturb or irritate especially by repeated acts' or 'to harass especially by quick brief attacks,'" the court of appeals wrote, citing Merriam-Webster.com. "We find that this definition may encompass a vast array of human behavior, and the statute provides no guidance for distinguishing between acceptable and annoying conduct."
This should be joyful news for students at Indiana University. Those kids like to party.
But drunk people shouldn't immediately take to the streets with the intent of pissing off strangers. Rodregus Morgan is the drunken hero who forced Indiana to examine its laws, but they still found a way to convict him of something:
Morgan was asleep and allegedly intoxicated in an IndyGo bus shelter when his brother's attempts to wake him caught the eye of an IMPD officer.
The officer approached the shelter to check on Morgan's welfare, according to documents, and attempted to wake him. Morgan then raised his head up, looked at the officer and said, "Get off of me," according to documents.
After several warnings to vacate the shelter were ignored – along with the officer's observations that a strong odor of alcohol was "emitting from Morgan's breath and body … coupled with the fact that … his behavior was annoying" – the officer placed Morgan under arrest.
They still got Morgan for disorderly conduct. And that's probably how it's going to go in Indiana now. Behavior that cops find "annoying" will be reported as "disorderly" and still get you a trip to the drunk tank.
So if you try this at home, I suggest trying to get the police officer to admit that you are merely annoying him. Try slurring the phrase: "Am I annoying you, officer? Am I annoying you, Oscar? Am I annoying you, ocelot?" 500 times while sitting in the back of their cruiser. Knowing your rights is always valuable!
Note: This is not legal advice and is intended solely for the purpose of generating future arrests worth posting about.
Wherein Law Students Try To Bar Crawl Like College Students [Above the Law]