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  #1  
Old July 3rd, 2008, 06:42 PM
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Default Drinking on the beach

I got a ticket for drinking on the beach yesterday.

The cop gave me a summons to go to court. Really?! For having a beer under a shady tree on the beach. Isn't the court date summons overkill? Seems to me that the courts could be doing this a little differently, say, by allowing me to mail in a fine. I mean, the cop caught me red-handed. I'm not going to lie, or cry, or protest to the judge, so it doesn't make sense for me to have to go to the courthouse.

Anybody have any advice or experience with this?
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

I suppose you could go to the courthouse soon and find out what your options are (maybe you can pay the fine early).
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

This law has been on the books a long time; I'm surprised no one told you or that you weren't aware.
I doubt the judge is going to buy your discussion that it was hot, you were in the shade, under a tree. It all sounds so picturesque, so perfect, but it wasn't wrapped in a paper bag so there you go. Even that would be wrong. Discrete, but wrong.
If he wanted to, I bet the cop could have given you a warning. Especially if you were sincerely surprised. I wonder why the officer didn't.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

I guess you don't expect to get any jail time, either, eh? Without more specifics, I doubt any advice could be of much help - just being cited means the circumstances must have been unusual (end of the month citation race, perhaps). I beg to differ with lavagal, you did break the law, however, that doesn't make it wrong. The laws exists to serve the public, the public does not exist to follow the laws. If there was no public benefit associated with citing you in that instance (and you have 'learned your lesson'), you may have a case for dismissal.
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Last edited by salmoned; July 3rd, 2008 at 07:46 PM.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

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Originally Posted by salmoned View Post
I guess you don't expect to get any jail time, either, eh? Without more specifics, I doubt any advice could be of much help - just being cited means the circumstances must have been unusual (end of the month citation race, perhaps). I beg to differ with lavagal, you did break the law, however, that doesn't make it wrong. The laws exists to serve the public, the public does not exist to follow the laws. If there was no public benefit associated with citing you in that instance, you have a case for dismissal.
I don't follow. I didn't say it was legal. I didn't say drinking it in a bag was legal either. It's just that some people do that and who are they trying to kid?
Anyway, I agree we don't really have all the info to give advice except to not drink in public. It's also illegal to have a drink outside of a bar, on the sidewalk in front of the place, for instance, if you want to have a cigarette with your drink.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

The beer can I was drinking from was camouflaged in a coozie.

The beer can I was using for an ashtray was in plain view right next to my chair. Oops. (hey, at least I'm a responsible, non-littering smoker)

The courthouse website offers no alternative solutions, just seems that I have to go to court. Which is wasting both my time and the judge's, since I'm not going to contest my ticket. It doesn't seem logical to me!

I also asked the cop (very respectfully, of course) that he not write me the ticket. That didn't work.

What happens when tourists get tickets? Do they have to fly back to appear in court?
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

I think tourists get lots of tips regarding things such as where to consume alcohol. In-flight magazines, hotel rooms, rental vehicle agencies, Web sites pretty much pound into them about different things, and I would bet drinking on the beach is one.
I don't know where one can actually sit on a beach with a lime wedge sticking out of a bottle of carona, but it makes for great advertising.

You have a good question, though. If there is no place for you to just send a fine, what do they do? Maybe they just blow it off. Would there be a warrant for their arrest if they came back? Some tourists come back year after year, but some only come once.
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Last edited by lavagal; July 3rd, 2008 at 08:32 PM. Reason: to add last graf
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

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Originally Posted by turtlegirl View Post
[...]
The courthouse website offers no alternative solutions, just seems that I have to go to court. Which is wasting both my time and the judge's, since I'm not going to contest my ticket. It doesn't seem logical to me![...]
The only thing I can think of, turtlegirl, is that going to court is, as you put it, wasting your time and the judge's. Maybe that's the point. Having to get ready, drive to court and wait around until your case is called might act as a future deterrent. For a lot of folks that also means taking time off of work and possibly being docked for that time. The judge will already be there and on the clock. That's his job. Slipping a check in the mail is kinda easy, I think. Maybe too easy. Why should paying a fine for a citation (a law was broken!) be easy? I have no experience with this type of thing so I can't say for sure.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 09:14 PM
Ron Whitfield Ron Whitfield is offline
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Default It's legal to go topless in Hawaii! Make use of your freedoms ladies!

It's well known that HPD usually doesn't bother ticketing those they assume/suspect are non-locals and will probably be long gone by court time.
I've had it blatantly done to me. A cop/s writes me up while obvious tourists do the exact same thing all around us, ...no problem.

Drinking in public is a no-brainer no no. Obviscating it with a bag or whatevers is playing Russian roulette. But, 'playing' the judge just right can pay off, so don't bring a six pack, or tell him you smoke ciggies! You'd see Alcatraz for that last one if I wuz inna robe!
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by lavagal View Post
I don't follow. I didn't say it was legal. I didn't say drinking it in a bag was legal either. It's just that some people do that and who are they trying to kid?
Anyway, I agree we don't really have all the info to give advice except to not drink in public. It's also illegal to have a drink outside of a bar, on the sidewalk in front of the place, for instance, if you want to have a cigarette with your drink.
No, you said it was wrong, which it isn't, per se. Breaking laws can often be right and/or necessary, upholding some of the finest traditions of our country.

Well, if an officer cannot clearly identify your beverage/container (or ashtray) as holding or designed to hold alcohol, he cannot presume you are or have been drinking an alcoholic beverage. Nor can he search your person or possessions without probable cause of a violation (or permission, of course). I notice the Waikiki Neighborhood Board meeting showed no 'warnings' were issued for drinking on the beach last month, mostly citations and a few arrests.
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Last edited by salmoned; July 3rd, 2008 at 09:49 PM.
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  #11  
Old July 3rd, 2008, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

Bummer about the ticket, TG.

I didn't know you could get ticketed for drinking on the beach (but I'm not surprised). I rarely drink and I don't hang out on the beach, so no run ins with the cops on this issue. Actually I've had no real run ins with cops, so no I've got no advice based on experience. Of course that won't stop me from expressing my opinion

Perhaps with the 4th of July weekend coming up, they want to crack down on drinking. Maybe it was an end of the month quota. Are you wondering if you got ticketed because you're white?

As for why the cop didn't let you off easy, maybe it was because you asked not to be ticketed (even though you asked politely). I dunno if it applies in this situation, but in traditional Asian culture, if you do something wrong, you're expected to quitely take what ever punishment you're given. No talking back to your parents.

If I was a cop and I pulled a guy over for speeding and he told me, "Yeah yeah, I was speeding. Just give me the ticket so I can go.", you can bet I'm gonna take my sweet time writing up that ticket. I'll do a background check on the driver and his car. Maybe twice. Then I'd slowly check his registration sticker and safety sticker (you know, to make sure they're firmly attached). I might ask the guy to test his breaks, turn signals, and hazzards. Heaven forbid he has one of those tinted covers on his license plates. I might make him get out of the car and remove them (I would tell him to exit his car slowly on the passenger side, for his safety of course).

Maybe the cop got a vibe from you that a financial cost wasn't a big deal, so he escalated it to a time cost, as a way of getting his point across?

One time I was driving down Waialae Ave. which goes down a big hill (if you're Ewa bound) in Kaimuki. The traffic lights are a little deceiving because you can accidently look at a green light TWO intersections away and totally miss the red light you're about to run. That's what happened to me and I almost totalled a car being driven by an elderly man with his granddaugther in the back. Luckily I stopped in time and just tapped his car. Naturally the guy was pissed at me and I apologized profusely. I was relieved no one was hurt and asked if his girl was ok. As we looked over the damage (you could hardly see anything on his car), he asked me if I wanted to report it to the cops/insurance company. He was watching me intently. I told him it's not my choice, I was the one who screwed up, he can do whatever he wants. He sniffed and told me "nevermind" and left.

So before you see the judge, reflect on why the police would want to discourage public drinking before this holiday weekend, because I would imagine the judge will ask you a few questions. Even if the judge takes his/her time, don't express any impatience. Then whatever the judge says he/she might punish you with, don't "make a big face", just nod and bow your head down a bit.

It pretty much boils down to showing respect (whether you feel sincere about it or not). Of course if you want to fight the powah, then by all means, just be willing to pay the price.

Once, as a kid, I knew I was going to get spankings for getting detention at school, so I hid the yard stick my mom normally whacked me with. When she couldn't find it, she used a piece of race track from my Hot Wheels set. It was this real soft rubbery plastic thing that didn't hurt one bit, but boy did I fake a lot of crying (it helped hide my laughter). I got off easy and my mom felt I was disciplined.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 09:35 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by lavagal View Post
I think tourists get lots of tips regarding things such as where to consume alcohol. In-flight magazines, hotel rooms, rental vehicle agencies, Web sites pretty much pound into them about different things, and I would bet drinking on the beach is one.
Honestly, I've never seen anything in any of those - but that doesn't mean they are not there, of course.

Most major communities these days have laws against open-beverage alcohol containers, to help cut down on public intoxication. It's pretty common.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavagal View Post
I don't know where one can actually sit on a beach with a lime wedge sticking out of a bottle of carona, but it makes for great advertising.
Only on (a) hotel property, or (b) a beach not part of the 50 States.
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Old July 3rd, 2008, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

Sounds like the cop was just irked he was not enjoying a cold on, just my opinion. Sounds very petty.

I guess law IS law, but also, I think there are cases where people need to be people, not get a stiffie over the power that the badge they wear endows them with. I have no problem with officers upholding the law, but really, aren't there OTHER things that could demand a little more attention?!

Sorry to hear of your ticket, TG.
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  #14  
Old July 3rd, 2008, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

I've drank on the beach before and will again. You just gotta be smooth about it. Forget the beer cans and the red plastic cups - It's too obvious. Bring a Mcdonalds bag down there with a large drink, dump half the coke out and replace the other half with whiskey. Is long as you are otherwise behaving yourself, they'll never suspect.

As for court, is this a misderminor or a petty misderminor? It not it's just a "parking ticket" like the smoking ban. If I get one for the that ban, they can count on me one not being one bit sorry, demanding the max fine, and not taking it quietly as well. Then I'll proudly frame the ticket and put it on my wall as a symbol of pride.

Would you frame and show off your ticket?
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  #15  
Old July 3rd, 2008, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

It was legal to drink on the beaches of San Diego for ever, but this last year it was made illegal. I have been a regular beach goer for decades and never once saw a single alcohol related incident. Yet at the end of last summer, on Mission Beach, some cops went into a small (10 people) fight and it escalated to a full scale riot so the city council made drinking on the beaches illegal. Tomorrow being the 4th of July, with people celebrating freedom, they will be celebrating the freedom not to drink. Celebrating the freedom to get dictated to by a bunch of pushy do-gooders who have never been able to resist bullying other people. So lets just call off the 4th of July. If its supposed to be celebrating freedom yet we obviously do not have freedom, lets just go to work, why pretend? But seriously, it ought to be a very interesting 4th on San Diego beaches. I wonder if they will get riots that will dwarf the Mission Beach riot, or if criminals will take advantage of all the cops being at the beach (!) to create some actual victims of crime. The city might luck out and get cold, foggy beach weather that will keep everybody at home. I do not even drink. I just hate self righteous do gooders bullying peaceful people who aren't bothering anybody. Freedom means Free.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

Urgh! I have sooo many feelings about this whole thing, and responses to some of you guys' stories, so I will start like this....

I think that it is my American born right to have a picnic on the beach and drink beer. As long as I'm not being obnoxious. Period.

Kalalau - Yes!! I too used to drink on the beach at San Diego!! And I signed the petition to "ban the ban". I could write a soliloquy about why banning booze on SD beaches is misguided!

Alohakine - this is my first Hawaii tickert, and framing it is not out of the question.

Tattratt - yes! the cop seemed irked. He even asked me if I had any dogs at the beach,. probably wanted to write a ticket for that too. Then, having filled his 'dog' quota, he could've gone to Mc Donalds and taken it easy!

Myopicjoe and Tutusue - you guys bring up the most insightful points of view. I will have to think more on those...

Salmoned - I shamelessly gave up the evidence when the cop asked for my coozie. Thank goodness he didn't search my person...

PS - On my way out of the park I saw six guys, obviously drunk, hanging out around a cooler under a tree. They all had red plastic cups. Did they get tickets? I bet not!
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Old July 4th, 2008, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

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Originally Posted by turtlegirl View Post
I shamelessly gave up the evidence when the cop asked for my coozie.
And that is clearly and without any doubt The Best Line Of The Week Month Year.

(Sorry about your ticket, though.)
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Old July 4th, 2008, 02:51 AM
Hickman83 Hickman83 is offline
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I live in Taiwan. You can drink anywhere. Anytime. You can even drink in a motor vehicle as long as the driver is or has not been drinking. I'm not joking. You can drink anywhere.

America, Land of the FEE and home of the SLAVE.

In a "FREE" country, one should be allowed to be or do what they want as long as it does not disturb or harm anyone.

This free county nonsense is a bunch of hype. I pay for my food, I pay for my house, etc. etc. why do I have to pay taxes/fines to a bunch of pigs that start wars and builds my own prison with my own money?

Drinking on the beach is not a crime. I don't drink. But, I would never infringe on another persons lifestyle..never.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 03:47 AM
Walkoff Balk Walkoff Balk is offline
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

You can never drink beer on the beach. You can only rent it.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 05:52 AM
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Talking Re: Drinking on the beach

Quote:
Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
The only thing I can think of, turtlegirl, is that going to court is, as you put it, wasting your time and the judge's. Maybe that's the point. Having to get ready, drive to court and wait around until your case is called might act as a future deterrent. For a lot of folks that also means taking time off of work and possibly being docked for that time. The judge will already be there and on the clock. That's his job. Slipping a check in the mail is kinda easy, I think. Maybe too easy. Why should paying a fine for a citation (a law was broken!) be easy? I have no experience with this type of thing so I can't say for sure.
*cough* *cough*

Just kidding! Of course I believe you, tutusue. Seriously, though, I think you hit the nail on the head. A little birdie’s nightmare from hell is traffic court. I won’t say what the birdie did, but it had nothing to do with any moving violation. That didn’t seem to matter. The mynah bird still had to wake up at the crack of dawn, fight traffic (luckily the birdie had both a car and moped at that time, avoiding any additional “infractions” )

Then hurry up and wait. And I do mean wait... If the judge is late and your last name doesn’t start with A, B or C... prepare to sit there for a lo—ong @ss time. If you had something to do later that morning, fughettaboutit. The judge might advise you to see a “public defender.” That’s an appointment they advise you to make the instant your hearing is over, as there is a backlog at the PD’s office. Don’t think you can just make a phone call for that. They require you to go down to the office (which is not downtown so add more driving, mopedding or catching the bus to the agenda) and fill out paperwork proving that you don’t make enough money to pay for your own lawyer. Luckily, the bird was a full-time student at the time, so somehow, the size of winged-critter’s paycheck no longer mattered. After meeting with a public defender, realize that the attorney representing you in court will likely not be the same one you met with at the office. So be prepared for that. Hopefully, the cop doesn’t show up in court. In fact, they rarely do.

I can imagine if this is what the feathery creature had to go through for traffic citation(s) that weren’t even moving violation(s), openly flaunting a beer can with cigarette dust on the beach can’t be that far off. Then again, I’m not an attorney. I’m just repeating what a little birdie told me.

My advice is to use the “old Little League daddy ballpark trick” next time (and I am just selected a random name for this trick ). Forget the coolie. Carefully and cleanly cut the top and bottom off an old aluminum Coke can. Insert beer can into hollowed out sleeve. Or...buy the premade version. Drink responsibly, and if you see a cop, don’t flip him the bird.
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  #21  
Old July 4th, 2008, 10:09 AM
Kalalau Kalalau is offline
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

Aloha kakahiaka. Just back from the morningly holo down to the uapo at the kahakai. The police have cordoned off the entire beach parking lot, all of it, they have a riot van, another van, a squad car, and a tent for processing arrestees set up. Freedom isn't free...(get it?) Yet it fits. If you are not even free to toast your country's freedom with a frosty one on a national holiday, there isn't anything to toast, is there? I am confident that the American people will again willingly submit to the overwhelming power of authority as they always do. There is a web cam you can check out right across the street from the beach, google Ocean Beach web cam and you will find it. You can control the cam so you can check the crowd, the surf, the pier, or the processing of arrestees.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

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Originally Posted by turtlegirl View Post
I got a ticket for drinking on the beach yesterday.
Are you feeling lectured enough yet? Geez guys, maybe lighten up a little. It's not as if she was plinking away at the sand crabs with her Glock while shotgunning from the keg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlegirl View Post
Seems to me that the courts could be doing this a little differently, say, by allowing me to mail in a fine. I mean, the cop caught me red-handed. I'm not going to lie, or cry, or protest to the judge, so it doesn't make sense for me to have to go to the courthouse.
Anybody have any advice or experience with this?
Is there anything on the fine print of the ticket, maybe the back page, about the court summons? The reason I ask is because in 1993 I accumulated four traffic tickets in five minutes (long story) and was given a similar summons. I didn't have to go to court because there was something in the paperwork I was given that included the option to pay the penalties without having to show up.

It might be worth going through the court's website to see if there's additional info.

As Joe has pointed out, odds are that the judge is going to be as grumpy about the police officer volunteering their court time as you are. They'll be looking for any excuse to lash out, and they get a lot of practice.
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  #23  
Old July 4th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Are you feeling lectured enough yet? Geez guys, maybe lighten up a little.
LOL. Yeah I entered parenting mode. Practicing for when my daughters grow up I guess Lesson learned: lecturing your girls too much just makes them run into the arms of boys who tell them what they want to hear.

TG sounds like a responsible drinker, and the only thing she did "wrong" was using a beer can as an ashtray in public. If we assume the cop was a decent guy, then he was "forced" to confront TG due to the public display of a beer can. If he was just a bully, then she made a safer target than a bunch of local guys. Since we weren't there to watch their interaction, we can't say whether the cop was being a total punk, or whether TG (or someone she was with) accidentally used body language / phrasing which doesn't sit well with local cops.

Maybe with a few beers in her, TG looked like one of these guys!
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Old July 4th, 2008, 03:28 PM
Composite 2992 Composite 2992 is offline
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

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Originally Posted by AlohaKine View Post
Is long as you are otherwise behaving yourself, they'll never suspect.
That's the reason these laws exist. There's nothing basically wrong with people drinking on the beach or in parks. Kicking back, enjoying the day with a cold one or a glass of wine. But it's the idiots who start acting stupid and starting fights or annoying others, who force the creation of these laws.

Speaking of annoying, cops should be allowed to draw their weapons and shoot up the stereo systems of people who drive around with over-amped audio systems cranked up to the max.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Drinking on the beach

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Originally Posted by MyopicJoe View Post
[...]
Maybe with a few beers in her, TG looked like one of these guys!
Not even with a case of beer in her!!! TG is gorgeous. Really. I'm actually kinda surprised the cop didn't target her just to meet her...then give her a warning instead of a ticket.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Composite 2992 View Post
That's the reason these laws exist. There's nothing basically wrong with people drinking on the beach or in parks. Kicking back, enjoying the day with a cold one or a glass of wine. But it's the idiots who start acting stupid and starting fights or annoying others, who force the creation of these laws.[...]
BINGO!
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