Can You Be Arrested for Open Alcohol Carry on a College Campus in Pennsylvania?
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College students often don’t consider the ramifications of underage drinking. Even something that seems insignificant, like open alcohol carrying, can result in arrest or citation. Colleges can also punish students for such actions, which can negatively affect their college careers.
Each Pennsylvania college has different rules about open alcohol carrying, and so does each city. Pennsylvania as a state doesn’t have an overarching law regarding this offense, but localities might. Depending on your college, you could be arrested or cited for open alcohol carrying, even if you’re over 21. Underage students especially should be aware of these rules and know what happens if they’re violated.
The Pennsylvania college criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin don’t want one mistake to ruin your college experience. Our lawyers can help students who have been charged with an open container violation on a college campus. For a free consultation, call the criminal defense attorneys for college students at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today at (814) 826-3586.
Can I Be Arrested for Open Alcohol Carry on a College Campus in Pennsylvania?
While there are no Pennsylvania state laws that ban you from carrying an open alcohol container in public, local ordinances can prohibit it. Pennsylvania does have strict open container laws for vehicles, but not when simply walking around. However, towns and cities can have their own laws regarding open container violations. As a college student, it’s important to know whether your campus is located in such an area.
Not all college campuses exist solely on private property in Pennsylvania. Many campuses are intertwined with public neighborhoods or are considered public property themselves. Many students don’t technically live on campus but still consider their neighborhood part of their college campus. For example, local law enforcement officers or campus police might cite you for an open container violation if you are walking across campus on public property.
Walking with open alcohol containers while underage can result in greater fines or penalties, depending on the Pennsylvania city where you live. Suppose you are arrested as a college student for carrying open alcohol. In that case, it’s best to contact an experienced lawyer, such as the Pennsylvania college criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. These charges aren’t something to be ignored, especially for young college students.
Campus police and local police both have the same authority as law enforcement officers. In that case, they have the power to arrest you for breaking the law. However, carrying open alcohol will most likely warrant a citation rather than an arrest.
Can I Be Disciplined for Open Alcohol Carry on a College Campus in Pennsylvania?
Some Pennsylvania colleges employ their own campus police to monitor the behavior of students. If your school has strict open container rules and you’re caught breaking them, campus police could cite you. That being said, campus police are generally unable to arrest or detain students unless their actions are severe.
Some Pennsylvania colleges are “dry” altogether. That means that alcohol is not permitted on campus at any time, even if students are over 21. While being arrested for open alcohol carrying isn’t likely, you could be reported by campus safety and reprimanded by your college.
Each school has different rules addressing open alcohol carrying on campus. It’s helpful to read your student handbook, so you’re aware of the rules. Again, you probably won’t be arrested for carrying open alcohol on campus unless you are on public property monitored by local law enforcement, and your town or city has laws against such actions.
If you do violate your college’s rules regarding carrying open containers, you can be penalized. Colleges often have strict guidelines about alcohol. Breaking these rules can result in fines and penalties. You could lose certain student privileges, too. Some schools are laxer about these rules, and others aren’t. If you’re uncertain about your college’s open container rules, read your student handbook. Most colleges will explicitly state their alcohol guidelines in the handbook.
Underage students should never carry open alcohol on a college campus. In recent years, Pennsylvania colleges have become stricter about underage drinking. Even holding an open container for a friend on campus can warrant a citation or an arrest. For students over 21, the punishment for an open container violation will likely be less severe, even if it is prohibited on your college campus. If you’re underage, open alcohol carrying can harm your college experience.
What Should I Do if I Am Arrested for Open Alcohol Carry on a College Campus in Pennsylvania?
Getting arrested or cited for open alcohol carrying on a Pennsylvania college campus can happen for several reasons. Maybe you were carrying the container for an of-age friend. Perhaps you called for medical help for a friend in need. Or maybe you were caught breaking the rules. Regardless of the reason, an experienced attorney can help.
The Safe Harbor Law, or 18 Pa.C.S. 6308.1, protects underage drinkers in Pennsylvania from criminal punishment, should they or a friend require medical assistance. However, these allowances don’t always apply to students seeking help. You should always call for medical help if your friend needs it, period. If you then face open alcohol carry-related punishments from your school, you can hire a lawyer, like the Pennsylvania college criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. If you were doing the right thing and seeking medical attention for a friend in need, you could avoid penalties for open alcohol carrying on campus.
Students often disregard these types of charges as a non-issue. However, being arrested or cited for open alcohol carry on a college campus can result in disciplinary action from your school. Damaging your record with unnecessary charges can affect you for the rest of your college years and beyond. Should you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to contact a lawyer, like the Pennsylvania college criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate these allegations and avoid egregious penalties.
If You Were Arrested for Open Alcohol Carry on a College Campus in Pennsylvania, Our Attorneys Can Help
One mistake should not define your college experience. If you were arrested for carrying open alcohol on a college campus, call the Pennsylvania college criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today at (814) 826-3586.