"Here Son, Hold My Beer While I Take A Picture" Can Get You Arrested, Two Years in Jail

Posted by Brian

Arizona Cardinal season-ticket holder John Coulter said he thought he was the butt of a Candid Camera joke after being kicked out of an Arizona Cardinal's pre-season football game.

But this was no joke. Coulter and his 15-year-old son had just finished watching the opening kickoff, when he says he wanted to take a photo.  Asking his son to hold his beer, Coulter retrieved his iPhone from his pocket and snapped the photo.  Two men, undercover officers with Arizona Department Liquor Licenses and Control, then walked up to him, telling him "What you did was illegal and I can have you arrested for it".  Coulter tried to explain the situation to them, to no avail.  He and his son had their ID taken and were removed from the stadium and issued a trespassing citation.

A spokesman for the Department, Sergeant Wesley Kuhl,  said they were "lucky" they weren't arrested and thrown in jail.

"Providing alcohol to an underage person or an underage person in possession of alcohol is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The consequences could be up to, and this is a maximum, of two years in jail, $2,500 fine and three years probation."

Technically, Mr. Coulter was in violation of the letter of the law. The question for me is was he violating the spirit of the law?  He was not providing alcohol for his son to consume, but under the legal catch-all of allowing his son to be "in possession" of it.  Unfortunately, with a bad economy, and revenues to government down, law enforcement in too many cases are abandoning the spirit with which laws are passed, and siding with the legalese letter of the laws.

Channel 12 News in Phoenix said that officials at University of Phoenix Stadium are trying to "clamp down", "citing 23 cases of underage drinking at the stadium in the past two years".  Really?  23 whole cases in TWO years and the State Liquor police are going to assign a bunch of undercover detectives to walk around the stadium at football games to try to identify a couple of people out of 63,000 fans? It seems to me that the money being spent on these guys would probably yield better results than one at any one of the fraternities on campus.  Hell, they could probably get 23 violations at any weekend frat party.

What do you think? Were the agents just doing their job, or were they overzealous in their behavior?

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