Legal Problems from Tailgating at U of Michigan Football Games

Tailgating in Ann Arbor on Football Saturdays can be a lot of fun, but there are many pitfalls.  Here are something you should be careful about and some charges that are common to tailgating in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Open Containers aka Open Intoxicants in Public

In Michigan, it is illegal to have an open container on public property.  This means no drinking in public.  An open container is any alcoholic beverage where the seal has been broken.  If you have a can of beer and you opened it, then its considered an open container.  If you have a liquor bottle with a screw top and open it, then it is considered an open container even if you screw the top back on.  The same applies to all alcoholic beverages.  If you have a solo cup, brown bagged drink, or anything else that contains alcohol, the police can stop you and charge you with drinking in public, also known as open intox.  Open intox is a misdemeanor crime.

Disorderly Drunk or Disorderly Conduct

If you are at a tailgate and drink too much, then you can be charged with being drunk in public.  This is different for everyone.  Most of the time this charge is given to people who do dumb things while drunk.  It can be anything from starting a fight to being overly obnoxious due to intoxication.

Urinating in Public

If you drink too much at a tailgate in Ann Arbor and decide to use the bushes or try to pee behind a building or car, then you can be  charged with urinating in public.  This is a misdemeanor crime so its a better idea to use a bathroom.

Noise Violations

If you are partying in a neighborhood as opposed to the golf course or designated tailgating areas, and the noise you create bothers another person, then they can call the police and the police can charge you with a noise violation.  There is also a second Ann Arbor law that says you can’t make unreasonable noise between 10:00PM and 6:00AM.  Unreasonable noise is any noise that can be heard off the property line.  These charges are also misdemeanors.

If you or someone you know is arrested on game day in Ann Arbor, then call me for a free consultation.  I will explain your options so that you understand the situation and can make an educated decision.  I am in the 15th District Court several times a week and understand how the system works.  Have a great time at the game and keep in mind that there are other problems people can run into during Football Saturdays.