Better drink that beer inside

With Halloween right around the corner, there is something that every student should know when they cross the border into the city limits of our beloved Akron.

The city has been running a clever little scam that’s ripping off students, and there’s little you can do about it if you’re caught off guard.

Any police officer can arrest a person of any age for simply carrying a non-resealable container of intoxicating substance in an area designated as public property. In a house party scenario, the difference between legal and illegal is as simple as standing on the lawn or getting busted on the sidewalk.

Consider this example: a college student with no criminal record dresses up in his favorite banana costume and goes to a Halloween party Friday night. Drinking isn’t a big deal to him because he is over the age of 21 and has no record of causing trouble when consuming moderate amounts of alcohol. When said student arrives at the party, the night is just beginning, so he is in control of himself. Upon leaving the party shortly afterward, he takes a few steps on the sidewalk before realizing he has a frosty open beer in his hand. What is one to do in such a situation?

The answer the police are looking for is panic. As it turns out, this scholar of tomorrow will be arrested, held and fined without any reprieve, all for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The cops need two things from this student, and neither of them is for him to cease and desist. He isn’t causing a problem to anyone, but could be used for the betterment of the arresting officers.

The first function they would use him for is to be an example; he’ll be a message to all those potential rioters. The second function he would serve is to be a source of funds for the city.

Consider this second example: the Friday night before Halloween, a large number of students plan a party to celebrate the holiday. They plan to hold this event on Sumner Street as they have held celebrations there in years past. The police also hear of this festivity and decide that they can make a lot of money by taking advantage of powerless college students. The cops have the pick of the litter; they know there will be hundreds of kids breaking the law in plain sight. They need to do no more than find a target and by doing so can arrest any number of delinquents. They pay no mind to the merit of this activity; only to the amount of money they can extract from these young partiers.

According to the Municipal Code of the City of Akron, the maximum penalty for a first time offense of Open Container with no other infractions is 30 days in jail and a fine of $350 plus court costs. This code is available online and the code numbers are 91.07 for Open Container and 130.99 for Penalty for Misdemeanors.