Bonnaroo was put on hold in 2020 and 2021 because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The popular music festival makes a triumphant return to the schedule this June. With that being said, are you planning to make the pilgrimage to Bonnaroo? If so, it might be a good idea to keep your behavior in check to avoid arrest.
No matter how diligent you might be in staying out of trouble, trouble might just find you. The experienced Knoxville criminal defense attorneys at Banks & Jones discuss ways in which you can avoid arrest at Bonnaroo in today’s blog.
Don’t get out of control with alcohol
Alcohol gets a lot of people in trouble on any given day. Add in Bonnaroo and there are thousands of people walking around the festival consuming alcohol. Don’t be one of the unlucky ones who drinks and drives, who gets charged with public intoxication, or who is charged with a minor in possession of alcohol.
The best way to avoid getting arrested at Bonnaroo is to keep your drinking in check. Police officers will be on extra alert when Bonnaroo kicks off in September, looking for drunk drivers and impaired pedestrians in an effort to keep everyone safe. However, officers will look to increase their citation and arrest totals at the same time.
Being impaired leads to poor decisions, often involving driving a vehicle. Don’t let your good time come to an abrupt end because you were arrested for DUI, public intoxication, or disorderly conduct at Bonnaroo.
Don’t drink and drive
Driving under the influence is such an important topic that it gets its own category here. DUI is a serious offense in Tennessee. You can be charged with DUI if you are pulled over and you have any amount of alcohol in your system even though the legal limit in the state is 0.08. A DUI conviction comes with mandatory jail time, so make smart decisions and hail a cab or hire a rideshare driver for the entire time you are at Bonnaroo. If you have someone in your party you trust to be a designated driver, go that route too. Either way, don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve had even just one drink.
Keep your hands off drugs
Avoid possessing and using drugs at all costs if you are going to attend Bonnaroo. Marijuana is illegal in Tennessee, which means that if you are caught with .5 ounces of marijuana, you will face a Class B felony charge. According to Tennessee code § 39-17-415, marijuana is a schedule VI drug. If you are found to be in possession of less than half an ounce, you face a mandatory fine of $250 for your first offense. If it is a second or subsequent offense, you face a mandatory fine of $500.
Take prescription meds? Have the info with you
One of the worst things you can do for yourself if you take prescription meds is to have the pills but not the actual prescriptions on your person. You need to be able to prove to a police officer that the medication on your person is in fact prescription and that you were prescribed the medication by a doctor. Keep the pills in their original container and have your doctor’s contact information with you at all times. Doing so can prevent you from facing drug crime charges or spending a night in jail.
Keep your pants on
Everyone has heard the stories from Woodstock and Bonnaroo festivals of yesteryear. Don’t become one of those stories. Keep your pants on at all times. These festivals are known for their wild encounters between strangers. It might seem like a good idea at the moment, but it can lead to serious charges, such as sexual assault and public indecency. Avoid sexual encounters and do not urinate in public. You could wind up being placed on a sex offender registry.
Keep calm and carry on
You are more likely to get arrested and charged with disorderly conduct if you’ve consumed drugs or alcohol. However, disorderly conduct can happen even if you are sober. Avoid getting into fights with other guests at Bonnaroo or even people you know. Do not harass festival attendees or taunt police officers. Disorderly conduct comes with a Class C misdemeanor charge.
Under Tennessee code 39-17-305, a person can be charged with disorderly conduct if he or she:
- Engages in fighting or in violent or threatening behavior;
- Refuses to obey an official order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard, or other emergency; or
- Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose.
- A person also violates this section who makes unreasonable noise that prevents others from carrying on lawful activities.
How to protect your rights if arrested at Bonnaroo
If you find yourself being placed under arrest while attending Bonnaroo this September, you can still protect your rights even while in police custody. The best thing you can do is remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions or provide the police officer with any information upon your arrest until you speak to a criminal defense attorney.
Even though you don’t have to answer the officer’s questions, you should be polite in declining to do so. The more respectful and polite you are with the officer, the more likely it is that you will have a good experience with the police (as good an experience as possible when being arrested). You also have the right to refuse a search in Tennessee. A simple car stop does not mean that an officer can search your vehicle or your person.
Were you charged with DUI, public intoxication, sexual assault, theft, or any other crime at Bonnaroo? The Knoxville criminal defense attorneys at Banks & Jones can help you understand the charges levied against you and protect your rights. We fight vehemently for our clients so they can return to a normal life. Call our office at 865-546-2141 or complete our contact form today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.
T. Scott knows the importance of interacting with colleagues to stay abreast of developments and changes in the legal world. T. Scott frequently teaches CLE courses on trial strategy, teaching other lawyers his methods for success in the courtroom, and is certified as a Rule 31 Mediator in the Tennessee Supreme Court. He is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the National Trial Lawyers, and both the Tennessee and American Associations for Justice.
Read more about T.Scott Jones