Open Container Civil Disobedience Idea

Want to make it impossible for the police to attack people for the completely victimless act of possessing an open container, grind the courts to a halt, and force your local police department to alienate the state forensic laboratory…  all while not actually breaking a law?

Here’s how:

1. Get several bottles of Corona.

2. Videotape yourself cleaning all the bottles out in the sink…  removing any trace of alcohol.

3. Fill the bottles with non-alcoholic beer.

4. Stroll downtown to your favorite public park and/or into your local police department.

5. Sip.

6. Have your non-alcoholic beer seized.

7. Have several other people on hand doing the same thing.  Have them appear at different times or locations so that the state can’t have all the trials at the same time.

8. Get charged.

10. Plead not-guilty.

11. Have your trial…  introduce your evidence that you weren’t drinking beer.  Get found not-guilty.

12. Repeat.  (don’t forget the videotaped rinse)

The police are required to prove the existence of alcohol in the container in order for your conduct to be a proven violation of the statue (depending on how the ordinance is worded.)  This leaves them with four options.

1. Seize alcohol and send it all to the lab…  and only charge people afterward who the lab reports actually had alcohol in their “open container.”

2. Charge everyone, then test the “evidence.”  This would tie up lots of prosecutor time in tracking all the evidence and communicating with the state lab.

3. Dump out everyone drinking a liquid that smells like beer from a beer bottle.  This would open them up to a civil lawsuit, though.  The police have NO right to destroy lawfully possessed property.  If the police take your non-alcoholic beer and destroy it on you, sue them.  They are only allowed to seize things as evidence of a crime…  and are only allowed to destroy it with a court order.

Either way it will annoy the shit out of the state forensic laboratory, cost tens of thousands of dollars, tie up countless police resources, and clog the court system.  In the end, you will have actually not broken a law :)  Heads the activists win, tails the state looses.  This method could actually collapse the court system if the police were stupid enough to continue charging everyone with an “open container.”

Civil disobedience should be played like a game of chess.

(oh, and the fourth option: don’t enforce victimless laws.  sitting somewhere drinking a beer doesn’t hurt anyone.  you going after someone sitting somewhere drinking a beer IS actually hurting someone.)

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54 comments
Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

I was just reading back through this interaction and wanted to point something out.

BraveCop stated the following:

I don’t use violence but the neccessary force to obtain my lawful objective.

The police academy doesn't teach new recruits that they're being violent. It teaches them that they're using "necessary force."

This is violence.... and sugar-coating it with the term "necessary force" makes it sound like using the force (violence) is necessary.

Initiating violence is never necessary to solve problems.

This is the law that allows the police to use violence against peaceful people --> http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/LXII/627...

I really wouldn't be objecting if the law only allowed the police to use violence against people who have harmed other people.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

To remove morality from the actions of man is a death sentence for life and liberty.

Morality is not taught at the police academy. Morality is not encouraged by police department administrations.

Obedience to the words written down on paper by elected people... and to the words written by politically connected lawyers is what is taught, expected, demanded, and required. Using one's own judgment regarding the morality of a particular law is simply not something police are allowed to do. If it were allowed... I'd probably still be a police officer today.

I will re-quote my quote from above: "Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.”

I consider myself a well meaning and peaceful person.

This well meaning and peaceful person dispensed a whole slew of injustice due to a blind obedience and belief in what was written down on paper.

I'm responsible for dozens of people being placed in cages.... violently at times. Peaceful people who simply exercised their own moral judgment as to how to treat their own bodies, etc.

Of this I am ashamed.

I just wish more people would open their minds to the concept that they too are committing injustice today... in the same precise manner and through the same precise mechanism as soldiers and police have in the past.

Paul
Paul

The basic flaw in reasoning, at the root of it all, is exemplified by the fact that people think it's ok to extort money from others by threatening them, use that money to buy and maintain a park, and then dictate their own rules for the use of that park.

It's not the most heinous abuse by far -- but it is the seed. All of the federal government gargantuan abuse and evil that has since arisen -- and has arisen in other nations -- is based on this core flaw: The idea that basic moral rules magically do not apply to a plurality, or those working on behalf of a plurality.

This idea must be fought at every turn -- it's the yeast that leavens the whole loaf -- the cancer cell that multiples until it kills the whole body.

Make such an exception -- inculcate such a delusion in the public mind, and mass corruption, abuse, tyranny, and ultimately collapse/poverty are inevitable. To remove morality from the actions of man is a death sentence for life and liberty.

Paul
Paul

Definitely not the most important issue bil ... but how can one do civil disobedience against the wars? Against wall street bailouts? Against secret prisons, torture, invasions of privacy, out of control bureaucracy, government takeover of industry, or government corruption/corporatism?

One could refuse to pay federal taxes ... but the IRS goons are quite happy to lock innocent people up for decades, for failing to pay their extortion racket.

Ironically, it's the fact that local police, and local government, are far superior to national governments and federal police, that makes them the primary subjects of civil disobedience.

Local government is superior, because it is far more responsive. The federal government is more or less beyond hope for real change at this point. So, one works to change what one can.

I don't support all of the civil disobedience that happens (e.g. toplessness) -- but I understand how a person can be fed up with all the abuse, and draw a line -- to say, "No further!" I will not make it easy for you to presume run my life and run my finances, by threats of violence.

And so one does what one can -- to throw your body on the gears as they say, to stop the machine.

I'd support public drinking civil disobedience, but only if it's done in an orderly, polite, considerate way. Go ahead, I say, quietly enjoy a beer in the park. If anyone harasses you for it, shame on them.

But, don't come from a place of anger, I say, and don't let your purpose be to goad others. Simply try to live with consideration of others' wants/needs, as well as your own, and try to accommodate both.

KEENENATIVE
KEENENATIVE

Jesus H. Fucking Christ on a popsickle stick. It is NOT a "park"...That place that YOU all KEEP insisting is a "park", is really a *COMMON*, as in "Tragedy of the Commons"...IT's A COMMONS! NOT A PARK! THINK! THINK! THINK!, people...sheesh, no, I DON"T want to know just how stupid you people are... I for one, really wonder at just how TOLERANT KPD has been to YOU PEOPLE!...Maybe Meola really is better than I give him credit for...I didn't expect too much either way, but at least he hasn't sent out the SRT on you FREEKEENY-WEENIES...YET!...

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Bil,

This is far from the worst thing that the government is doing.... but it is an attack on peaceful people nonetheless.

So long as the government chooses to hurt people who are peacefully not hurting anyone else I think it is important for people to peacefully make it difficult/cost prohibitive/not worth the effort for the government to proceed.

My idea to write this idea was spurred by the KPD going after people for this very thing. They attack... we respond.

KEENENATIVE
KEENENATIVE

Here in Jumanjiville(keene), "B-RAD" was a punk-ass kid a few years who was dealing over-priced schwag-weed by the >GRAM-BAG*GRIN*<.....(NO, you're correct. Sometimes, even *I* can't tell for sure whether I'm being serious or not...so let's just shake hands, and man up. Ladies, too. Cops are cops. The best aren't ever good enough, and the worst are always too bad. The cops are a reflection of the larger society from which they come. No, I don't want to get "arrested", either.

bil
bil

It seems that if you go through all the trouble to hide your beer in other bottles,tin-foil caps( not tinfoil hats,that is the conspiracy people) flasks,using NA beer,etc,then you have lost sight of what is really important.if half the effort wasted on this was harnessed to fight for what is really wrong,maybe this issue would solve itself.There has to be something bigger that is worth working for,if this is the worst thing government is doing,things aren't as bad as I thought. ---bil

Andrew
Andrew

Its all about compliance. Not IDing yourself doesn't escalate things. While BraveCop seems to think it does. More work for the police make many of them annoyed. Merely keeping your mouth shut and not actively resisting the police does nothing to escalate things, that is unless the police officer wants compliance, then he/she will use force to gain said compliance, as evident by BraveCop's post. Why would activists make it easy for the police; why should they bend over for something as silly as an open container charge? Hauling somone to jail / police station for a $100 fine is rediculous. But then again, the City needs that alcohol fine money...

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Most of the arrested that day are NOT Keene tax payers, therefore, they do not pay for the park.

True... but they still have the right to be there. It is public property.

What about the tax payers that do pay Keene taxes, that want to use the park, but are offended by these people?

These people did nothing to harm anyone else. If this was private property this would never be an issue because the person who owns the property could make the determination as to what is and what is not allowable.

Should I give up my right to enjoy a park because others want to be naked?

The people who are topless are not interfering with your ability to enjoy the park. It is not illegal to be topless for a female in New Hampshire.

Furthermore, you don't have a "right" to enjoy it.

I would not bring my kids somewhere where naked people are at, drinking beer. It infringes on my right to enjoy the park.

Well, that is your choice. Being topless is not illegal... and drinking beer is not an act that hurts anyone else.

I don’t use violence but the neccessary force to obtain my lawful objective.

You realize that the argument you make is the same argument the Nazi's made? They used the necessary force to obtain their -lawful- objective.

You realize that the argument you make is the the same authorization used by the government to capture and return slaves to their owners? They were using necessary force to obtain a lawful objective.

Just because an objective is lawful... it doesn't make using violence/force to reach it virtuous. Just because an objective is "lawful" it doesn't relieve the individual using violence/force to reach the objective of their moral responsibility.

I have NEVER used force that was uncalled for and excessive. I have, as most Police have, used force to protect myself, protect others, or make an arrest.

I have no problem with anyone using force/violence to protect others or themselves from force/violence. The problem with your (and my past actions) is that you are the one using the violence against someone peaceful.

If an armed robber comes up to you and demands your money... you will give it over for fear of them using violence against you.

If you go up to a peaceful person sipping a beer in the park... and demand they put their hands behind their backs, they will do so over fear of you using "necessary force to obtain a lawful objective." This goes all the way up to deadly force, you know. Even for the most trivial offenses.

You say/argue/justify to yourself using the violence because it is the person who escalates the situation. Actually, it is YOU who is escalating the situation... when you use violence against a peaceful person.

If you’re in violation of law/city ordinance, you have to identify yourself. If you refuse, you are then escalating the situation.

You are disassociating your personal responsibility here. If someone isn't hurting anyone... and they refuse to identify themselves to someone dressed in a costume... and the person resorts to violence/force to effect an arrest, it isn't the person who chose to remain silent who is "escalating the situation."

Under that train of thought the armed robber using violence only did so because the person wouldn't give their money over. They were the ones to "escalate the situation."

If you resist arrest, you are escalating the situation. If you comply and get processed as required, you can fight the charge in court.

Again... if someone chooses to not give their money to an armed robber and they get shot... they've simply gotten what was coming to them, right?

Look man.. I've been to probably all the same training you have been... I know how you think. I know how you're trained.

You are an individual who is responsible for how he treats his fellow human beings. You can try, as I did, to justify your violence/force by saying that people are the ones who chose to have you use force... but the blame ultimately resides with you. You're the one who chose to push it. You're the one who went after someone peaceful.

Words on paper saying it was okay to reach the lawful objective of keeping black people from drinking out of white water fountains did not make it right for the individual people wearing uniforms to use violence against people who were not harming anyone else. Words on paper now saying a peaceful person can't drink a beer in a park they pay for are no different.

To quote a famous philosopher:

""It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.… Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.""

You showing blind obedience to words on paper is the same mistake that many government agents have done throughout history which has caused many people to be victims of state aggression.

Is it okay to lock people in a cage simply because words on paper say possessing marijuana is wrong?

Morally, how is the act of holding a plant wrong?

Morally, how is the act of locking someone in a cage for holding a plant right?

These people in Keene are making themselves look foolish. Lots of people in NH agree with less gov’t, less taxes, etc…. even the Police. However, the tactics used by these Keeniacs is over the top, counter productive and will further hurt any cause.

I respectfully disagree. The people in Keene who are partaking in these things are attracting a great many more people to move there. Thirty years from now if both you and I are still breathing... I look forward to reflecting on the positions we are arguing here.

Open containers and public nudity are not the issues affecting most people of NH. Fight tax increases, abuse of social services, health care take over/costs, or something that really has daily impact on peoples lives.

Restriction on freedom by people willing to use violence (you, me at one time) on others IS the issue affecting most people here in New Hampshire.

I really appreciate you reading and participating here. I hope you continue to do so... no matter how wrong you think I am.

I thought I was wrong at one time also...... :)

BraveCop
BraveCop

You write, "The issue being protested with the open container civil disobedience is the issue BEHIND -why- a peaceful person cannot drink a beer in the park that they themselves pay for. The issue is the violence (627:5) that you… and I at one time… are/were authorized to -initiate- to solve a problem"

Most of the arrested that day are NOT Keene tax payers, therefore, they do not pay for the park. What about the tax payers that do pay Keene taxes, that want to use the park, but are offended by these people? Should I give up my right to enjoy a park because others want to be naked? I would not bring my kids somewhere where naked people are at, drinking beer. It infringes on my right to enjoy the park.

I don't use violence but the neccessary force to obtain my lawful objective. I have NEVER used force that was uncalled for and excessive. I have, as most Police have, used force to protect myself, protect others, or make an arrest.

If you're in violation of law/city ordinance, you have to identify yourself. If you refuse, you are then escalating the situation. If you resist arrest, you are escalating the situation. If you comply and get processed as required, you can fight the charge in court.

These people in Keene are making themselves look foolish. Lots of people in NH agree with less gov't, less taxes, etc.... even the Police. However, the tactics used by these Keeniacs is over the top, counter productive and will further hurt any cause. Open containers and public nudity are not the issues affecting most people of NH. Fight tax increases, abuse of social services, health care take over/costs, or something that really has daily impact on peoples lives.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

BraveCop,

You brought up an excellent point that deserved clarification... so I looked up the city ordinance regarding alcoholic beverages in the park:

Sec. 6-29. Open containers on public property.

No person shall carry or be in possession of any form of open container, either made of glass, tin, or any other material, containing alcoholic beverages or liquor, on any public way as defined in section 6-26 within the city.

As this ordinance says nothing of the original seal (like 265:81) the complaint would have to be worded something like this:

"did posess a glass open container containing an alcoholic beverage, to-wit, Budweiser beer, in Keene Central Square,"

Because the elements of the complaint have absolutely nothing to do with the seal... someone could lawfully have a rinsed out Corona bottle full of coke. Or they could have a rinsed out Corona bottle full of 0.0% non-alcoholic beer... and my original contentions regarding the idea for civil disobedience would still be valid. According to this ordinance... someone could walk through the park with a pre-opened, but currently sealed Corona.

This ordinance requires the state prove the contents were alcoholic... and unless the police saw someone break the original seal or the person admitted it... the onerous is on them to provide the evidence in court.

You are/were absolutely right about me being wrong if it were worded like 265:81, though. I should have researched this earlier.

I'm glad I was right :D

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Now Brad you mention non-descript containers. In your initial posting you say use Corona bottles. That’s about as obvious as you can get.

A flask or something similiar changes the circumstances.

I mention them now because you brought up a point I didn't think of to begin with. If the ordinance is written like 265:81 is... you'd be absolutely right that anyone drinking from a Corona bottle with the original seal broken would be in violation, contents notwithstanding.

I humbly stand corrected :P

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

I can say for MOST cops do NOT want to deal with open container laws. It’s a waste of time and resources. I don’t think wasting time fighting this issue is really worth it. Just use your head if you want toenjoy a drink at the park.

With that being said, when someone calls dispatch and makes the complaint, someone has to respond and investigate.

That is simply not true.

What if I call to complain that businesses are open on Sunday and that people are playing baseball.. and demand that the Keene PD does something about it?

332-D:1 Sunday Work. – No person shall do any work, business, or labor of his secular calling, to the disturbance of others, on the first day of the week, commonly called the Lord's Day, except works of necessity and mercy, and the making of necessary repairs upon mills and factories which could not be made otherwise without loss to operatives; and no person shall engage in any play, game, or sport on that day.

(Assuming that Keene does not have an ordinance exempting them from 332-D... I'm not sure if they do.)

You and I BOTH know the Keene PD will flatly refuse to enforce this law. Flatly. Even after the legislature had the opportunity to repeal it last session and refused.

The police DO NOT NEED to enforce the law.

If you are discreet, and use common sense, you’re likely not going to get jammed up by the cops. If you are confrontational, or are making a scene, you’re going to get the ticket or brought in.

The reason why the activists are not being discreet is because they are intentionally being civilly disobedient. The ones that go out and smoke weed could do so undetected for a lifetime. They're doing it with the intent on being detected as a tool to change a destructive policy.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Reference the search warrant…when you were a cop, did you apply for a search warrant on all drug arrests? How did you get the drugs tested? It’s kept in bags. Heroin is usually in small, sealed bags. I am talking personal use bags. So you would seize this bag, get a warrant for the contents for testing and then charge. Bull S*&^.

In a small "personal use bag" that has no seal... I don't think the courts would require one to get a warrant. I never did. Most people who possess drugs are not that well versed with the legal system or their constitutional rights to ensure that the police need a warrant (absent consent) to search their belongings.

I've recently seen people store marijuana in opaque/zip-lock style bags. If you take one of those out of someone's pocket and they refuse to give you consent to search it... you'd better believe you'd need a warrant to. How can someone not have an expectation of privacy of something they place in such a masking container?

You state “Sure, in the short term… But in the long term your brass/taxpayers are not going to tolerate the amount of effort required to address such a victimless crime.” The tax payers will get tired of people violating the current law and make it more restrictive. Look at what those fools did in Keene. Pranced around w/out tops, now the laws will become more restrictive. Way to go!!!

Many of the taxpayers are indeed irritated with the CD that happens in Keene. They may even support paying extra to enforce it. The problem for the state is that there are so many ways to make enforcement of the law so difficult that it is impossible. Again, you bring up an awesome point about the requirements of a seal on an "original" container. If that is how Keene's ordinance is worded... all the activists need to do is use solo cups to drink out of. NOW the police have to send all the contents of the cup off to the Department of Safety lab to have them tested to see if in fact they were beer.

Get people drinking completely (0.0%) non-alcoholic beer out of the same solo cups... and have them cover their solo cups with tinfoil or something else to assert their privacy in the contents from the government and it will become a war that the state simply cannot win.

There’s a difference between open container laws and Slaves!

There ABSOLUTELY is! But there is no difference in the mechanism that is used:

1. A majority of voters elect who can write various crap down on paper.

2. Various crap is written down on paper.

3. Violence is authorized against people who are peaceful.

Here's a question: Do you believe initiation of violence is an acceptable tool for solving problems? If you believe that it is not, you'll have to quit your job like I did.

If you think that -initiation- of violence IS an acceptable solution to solve problems... you are a violent person... and I am sorry. I hope you can change.

However, if you are drinking openly in the city square, no top on, painting breasts, then you’re going to get the ticket. I do not want to bring my kids to the park if naked woman are there, drinking beer. I do not have a problem if you want to be naked in a designated place, or your backyard, and unpopulated place. Downtown Keene is not the place for this.

I understand what you're saying, man. The problem is what is called the "tragedy of the commons." All people who live in Keene are forced (FORCED) to pay for the park. If Free Keene's owner Ian is forced to pay for this property... at the threat of losing his home and/or violence being used on him if he refuses to give it up... why doesn't he have the right to peacefully drink a beer on property HE pays for?

Part of why laws exist reference drinking in public is because, as you know, alcohol is a major cause of most issues Police deal with. People drink, fight and trouble starts. Drink at home, or be discreet! Had they been discreet, and not brought attention to themselves, they would have been fine.

I absolutely agree man. Alcohol use/abuse is the cause of the vast majority of problems that law enforcement deals with. Why can't the police simply address the people who actually fight and start trouble in lieu of people who merely are behaving as responsible peaceful adults?

Protest real issues.

The issue being protested with the open container civil disobedience is the issue BEHIND -why- a peaceful person cannot drink a beer in the park that they themselves pay for. The issue is the violence (627:5) that you... and I at one time... are/were authorized to -initiate- to solve a problem.

If someone is peacefully drinking a beer in the park and they refuse to cooperate with you're IDing them, you'll arrest them. If they refuse to be arrested, you'll use violence. If they use violence back on you, you'll kill them. Do you see?

BraveCop
BraveCop

Now Brad you mention non-descript containers. In your initial posting you say use Corona bottles. That's about as obvious as you can get.

A flask or something similiar changes the circumstances.

BraveCop
BraveCop

I can say for MOST cops do NOT want to deal with open container laws. It's a waste of time and resources. I don't think wasting time fighting this issue is really worth it. Just use your head if you want toenjoy a drink at the park.

With that being said, when someone calls dispatch and makes the complaint, someone has to respond and investigate.

If you are discreet, and use common sense, you're likely not going to get jammed up by the cops. If you are confrontational, or are making a scene, you're going to get the ticket or brought in.

BraveCop
BraveCop

Reference the search warrant...when you were a cop, did you apply for a search warrant on all drug arrests? How did you get the drugs tested? It's kept in bags. Heroin is usually in small, sealed bags. I am talking personal use bags. So you would seize this bag, get a warrant for the contents for testing and then charge. Bull S*&^.

You state "Sure, in the short term… But in the long term your brass/taxpayers are not going to tolerate the amount of effort required to address such a victimless crime." The tax payers will get tired of people violating the current law and make it more restrictive. Look at what those fools did in Keene. Pranced around w/out tops, now the laws will become more restrictive. Way to go!!!

There's a difference between open container laws and Slaves! I will over look open containers, or have them dump the beer most times. However, if you are drinking openly in the city square, no top on, painting breasts, then you're going to get the ticket. I do not want to bring my kids to the park if naked woman are there, drinking beer. I do not have a problem if you want to be naked in a designated place, or your backyard, and unpopulated place. Downtown Keene is not the place for this.

Part of why laws exist reference drinking in public is because, as you know, alcohol is a major cause of most issues Police deal with. People drink, fight and trouble starts. Drink at home, or be discreet! Had they been discreet, and not brought attention to themselves, they would have been fine.

Protest real issues.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

I think the following supports the notion that drinking alcohol from a nondescript container in public (being civilly disobedient without flaunting) is nearly impossible for the police to get involved with... absent specific evidence (ie: volunteering information, smelling booze, etc.)

If the police smell alcohol or have some other reason to suspect you're violating the open container ordinance... they would be able to seize the container. If the container is capped by the owner, asserting an interest in privacy in the contents, the police will need a warrant to pry inside and examine the contents.

The Supreme Court of New Hampshire has held that an officer's observation of a hand-rolled cigarette by itself was insufficient evidence of marijuana use to entitle the officer to reach into a vehicle and retrieve the hand-rolled cigarette without a warrant.

ie: An officers observation of a container (such as a flask) be itself is insufficient evidence of alcohol use to entitle the officer to seize the container without a warrant.

In this case, New Hampshire state troopers stopped a vehicle driven by Forrest Ball. As one trooper approached the vehicle, he observed in the ashtray "several partially smoked manufactured cigarettes, as well as a partially smoked hand-rolled cigarette." Unable to identify the contents of the hand-rolled cigarette by sight, the officer reached in, removed it from the ashtray, and smelled it. He concluded that the cigarette contained marijuana, and arrested Mr. Ball. A search of Mr. Ball led to the discovery of additional contraband.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the officer's warrant less seizure of the hand-rolled cigarette was illegal, even under the plain-view rule, because the incriminating nature of the cigarette was not immediately apparent.

ie: An officer's warrant less seizure of a nondescript container would be illegal, even under the plain-view rule, because the incriminating nature of the contents was not immediately apparent.

The court stated:

Not all hand-rolled cigarettes contain contraband. Consequently, we cannot say that observation of a hand-rolled cigarette, by itself, would lead a reasonable and prudent person to believe that the cigarette contained an illegal substance. To transfer a mere suspicion about the contents of the hand-rolled cigarette into a reasonable belief based on probable cause, the officer must articulate additional corroborating facts. For instance, it might be shown that the arresting officer had the ability to distinguish hand-rolled marijuana and tobacco cigarettes by sight, or that he perceived the odor of marijuana, or that the defendant made a furtive gesture in an attempt to conceal the cigarette, or that the defendant's conduct was otherwise incriminating. (State v. Ball [N.H. 1983] 471 A.2d 347.)

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

BraveCop,

Firstly, thank you for commenting here.

Non-alcoholic beer has .5% alcohol, which is beer under NH law. ""Beverage'' means any beer, wine, similar fermented malt or vinous liquors and fruit juices and any other liquid intended for human consumption as a beverage having an alcoholic content of not less than 1/2 of one percent by volume.....

I'm sorry, you're wrong. Not *all* non-alcoholic beer has .5% alcohol in it. There is indeed non-alcoholic beer that has 0.0% alcohol content. I even posted an example of this above.

SO, if cities have an ordinance written close to the wording of the open container law for vehicles, "broken seal," the Police can seize your "capped" beer bottle and charge you as the original seal is broken.

You're right there.... very good point.

The solution to that would be to put alcohol in the non original container... and drink beer out of some other kind of capped container.

Do you dispute that in this scenario you would need a search warrant to open and determine that the liquid is alcohol?

They will have probable cause that beer is in your beer bottle. The seal will be broken and the bottle seized and the suspect charged with the violation. Even if you change the beer with "non-alcoholic" beer, you will still be charged due to it being "not less than 1/2 of one percent by volume."

Oh absolutely there is plenty of probable cause..... the question is will the state want to go through the motions of doing search warrants.

If you fight it, and win, Police still get the OT for going to court, so it's a win win for us!

Sure, in the short term... But in the long term your brass/taxpayers are not going to tolerate the amount of effort required to address such a victimless crime.

If you bring a civil suit, GOOD LUCK. The Officer observed an open bottle (broken original seal) of "suspected" alcohol, with liquid that resembles beer (you said use Corona, clear bottle) and he/she seizes the bottle. There is "probable cause" that alcohol is in that bottle and based on that probable cause, a charge was brought for the violation. All you need for a charge is "probable cause."

My indication of a 42 USC 1983 case is for the situation where the police seize evidence of a crime without the intent to prosecute it... as it would be too difficult.

I am very familiar with qualified immunity in the federal system and absolute immunity in the state system.

The police cannot take someone's flask because they have probable cause to believe that they're drinking liquor out of it... unless they intent on applying for a search warrant to determine the contents. If you disagree let me know, I'll post a slew of case law to help change your mind.

Also reference the "capping"issue. So if I seize a bindle of "suspected" heroin from someone, do I have to apply for a search warrant to open that sealed bag? No.

Yes, you do. I think things that would support my contention would be:

a) is the bag opaque?

b) where was the bag hidden?

c) is the bag zip-locked or loosely sealed?

A plain-view seizure and a search of seized items are two very different things.

Seriously man, get a life. Battling open container laws is what you have become, HA HA!

Well, that's not very nice... but I would have said the same thing of someone like me now five years ago. This is about a whole lot more than battling an open container ordinance.

What I have become is someone who regrets aggressing against and hurting peaceful people... simply because words on paper said it was okay.

I'm sure you find the Fugitive Slave Act repugnant. You need to realize that many cops at the time thought it was acceptable. A majority of them did.

Today... there are so many laws that causes the state to attack peaceful people. Those laws are wrong, man. History just hasn't caught up yet.

Again, thank you for offering your opinions... and for pointing out that original seal issue I didn't think of.

BraveCop
BraveCop

Brad,

Non-alcoholic beer has .5% alcohol, which is beer under NH law. ""Beverage'' means any beer, wine, similar fermented malt or vinous liquors and fruit juices and any other liquid intended for human consumption as a beverage having an alcoholic content of not less than 1/2 of one percent by volume.....

SO, if cities have an ordinance written close to the wording of the open container law for vehicles, "broken seal," the Police can seize your "capped" beer bottle and charge you as the original seal is broken.

They will have probable cause that beer is in your beer bottle. The seal will be broken and the bottle seized and the suspect charged with the violation. Even if you change the beer with "non-alcoholic" beer, you will still be charged due to it being "not less than 1/2 of one percent by volume."

If you fight it, and win, Police still get the OT for going to court, so it's a win win for us!

If you fight it, and lose. Police still get the OT for going to court, so it's a win win for us!

If you bring a civil suit, GOOD LUCK. The Officer observed an open bottle (broken original seal) of "suspected" alcohol, with liquid that resembles beer (you said use Corona, clear bottle) and he/she seizes the bottle. There is "probable cause" that alcohol is in that bottle and based on that probable cause, a charge was brought for the violation. All you need for a charge is "probable cause."

Also reference the "capping"issue. So if I seize a bindle of "suspected" heroin from someone, do I have to apply for a search warrant to open that sealed bag? No.

Seriously man, get a life. Battling open container laws is what you have become, HA HA!

Paul
Paul

"Civil disobedience" does have a strong history. It's used to describe the work of Gandhi, MLK, and many others.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

I would suggest (on this board and in general discussions) a more positive term than "civil disobedience".

That, I think, is a fine idea. Do you have any suggestions?

That opening speech was amazing... it was by Stefan Molyneux.

Jim
Jim

One last (?) comment:

I would suggest (on this board and in general discussions) a more positive term than "civil disobedience". (I recall a porc-fest lecture on language while writing this, the bald guy with a young child, also a radio-show host who discussed "libertarian parenting") By putting the two together you risk imprinting in some people's minds that your are being disobedient of civil behaviour. Maybe something like "lawful free activity" or "lawful free gathering" would better represent your decent-yet-non-statutory actions.

When representing the actions of people acting lawfully and honorably (which I assume most of you are at most times), why put a word such as "disobedience" front and center? As many people - both govt and non-govt - undoubtedly (subconsciously at least) associate "disobedience" with unlawful or otherwise negative acts or intentions, if this is not what is actually occurring then why use the term?

This is in line with the idea (a fundamental truth IMHO) that anything not causing harm, fraud, or loss is certifiably lawful by its very nature, as nobody is being hurt by it while some are gaining (freedom and responsible actions) from it. Gives you a good way IMO to discuss fundamental human rights and God-given/natural law (and common sense) as opposed to the big-brother/repressive/tax collecting statues with those unaware of the issues at hand here.

Jim
Jim

Re. Bradley Jardis

(Sorry, don't know how to quote here)

Seeing Robs enormous success and understanding of the law (40 000 plus hours of study I think he stated), I would be very surprised indeed if an individual or group of individuals following his advise (along with the fundamental understandings of the law and correct attitude) would fail to achieve positive results with that knowledge and correct application thereof.

My initial guess would be that Ian Freeman mis-steped somewhere, perhaps mistaking legalize for english somewhere along the lines or not understanding that equality under the law is paramount (all men are created equal, etc), and being determined to act as such while dealing with authorities.

Anyway, just my guess, though one I would place a bet on if I could get a guaranteed right answer (after the placement of the bet I mean).

Do search out Rob Menard's books/e-books however, I doubt there is too much difference in the fundamentals of the law to not be worth your time in purchasing/reading/sharing.

Also google "freeman" (the last name of the person in question) and Alex Jones (on youtube somewhere) regarding dealing with unjust government actions (cops and judges) via grand juries and such.

Also somewhere on youtube is an American (as I recall) who paid off his new car with his bond, and was about to try the same with his house. Although mixing systems (freeman via NOUI/COR and person via SSN, maybe a bad idea legally) he did get his car paid off and offered proof as such on the video. He also acted as a peace officer in order to prevent police abuse (via asking the abused person whether he wanted assistance), and despite being "arrested", was promptly let go at the police station as the sergeant(?) in charge had dealt with him before and didn't want to do so again.

Thanks for the invite, I may come back from time to time as I feel inclined, but am not inclined to get your RSS feed right now.

Again, do check out Rob Menard thoroughly if you haven't done so already, I suspect he has much to offer you in terms of understanding law (real law as well as statutes) and could likely sort you guys out (in a good way) quite quickly if you were to spend an afternoon or two speaking with him (or even a freeman-on-the-land who he has helped to claim/enforce that status) and are willing to gain an understanding of the fundamentals and apply them in a strong-yet-responsible manner as a matter of course.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Why not just go to trial and so forth, then use your bond (see Rob Menard or others – “96 is your fix”) to pay for any fines.

Most people are simply issued citations for violating a local open container ordinance. If they are arrested they are released on PR bail, which means they don't actually pay any money.

Most activists up here refuse to pay any fines the court imposes anyways.

In short, they waste their time for no benefit, except for the “benefit” of wasting your time and energy going through the process.

Ohhh I get your point. Yeah, that wouldn't really be something that could be done with this particular issue.

Also, as Rob says, all orders (ie. “hand over your beer”, “fill out this paperwork”, “sign here”, etc.) from any government agent or others with force behind them make that person/group liable for bills (just like at a restaurant).

Completely untrue.... at least in the practical operation of how the government works.

In my opinion if someone was to try to get someone in government to pay for those things and you'll get laughed at and eventually tossed in jail for trespassing/contempt/you name it.

I’m thinking Marc Stevens’ work (youtube search “traffic tickets”) could also work here, as might the concept of continuously asking questions of the judge when in court, ie definition of terms, where they got those terms, etc.

The owner of Free Keene and Free Talk Live, Ian Freeman, tried this and was ordered to jail for 93 days.

Good Luck!

Thank you very much for reading Free Keene. Why not add us to your RSS feed and chime in with your opinions from time to time? :)

Jim
Jim

Oh, I guess the US system would have something other than the "96" form, but you do have something similar I understand, likely on whatever ticket or other government bill you are given. (Even if it's not on the bill, it's still out there, very likely Winston Shrout's method will work once you understand it...)

Jim
Jim

Why not just go to trial and so forth, then use your bond (see Rob Menard or others - "96 is your fix") to pay for any fines. You have then just used your money (albeit money unlawfully IMO hidden by the government) to pay for the exercise, and if the situation is the same as it is in Canada, the state (federal?) government will be denied that much in revenue (interest on the bond) at the end of the fiscal year. In short, they waste their time for no benefit, except for the "benefit" of wasting your time and energy going through the process.

Also, as Rob says, all orders (ie. "hand over your beer", "fill out this paperwork", "sign here", etc.) from any government agent or others with force behind them make that person/group liable for bills (just like at a restaurant). Ask the cop, judge, etc "is that an order", then make sure to give them their bill for the order, whatever you feel is appropriate for the unlawful demands they are placing on you. If they don't give you an order, feel free to lawfully act in a manner not complying with their unreasonable (now) suggestions.

Lots of other good stuff on "The Magnificent Deception" video and other youtube videos of Rob's, I would be very surprised indeed if there wasn't a good way out of unlawful searches and seizures (likely many good ways) throughout his work.

I'm thinking Marc Stevens' work (youtube search "traffic tickets") could also work here, as might the concept of continuously asking questions of the judge when in court, ie definition of terms, where they got those terms, etc.

Ask and act lawfully and for the purpose of comprehension and lawful/honourable activity of course (being a dick for no reason won't help your cause - individually or via the group), but as long as you are acting lawfully - ie. not causing harm or loss to anyone, and not defrauding anyone - I see no reason not to use these methods to live as a decent human being free from unreasonable searches, seizures, or other undue restrictions on being a responsible adult human being.

Someone in your groups should also get Rob's books and e-books which go through these things (fundamentals and ways to deal with undue restrictions) in clarity and depth, and share them amongst yourselves. For that matter, Rob would likely be willing to skype/email you if he sees you as honourable people willing to learn and act responsibly with his knowledge (basic yet effective), assuming his schedule is not too full at any given time.

Good Luck!

Dan Patrick
Dan Patrick

And how would that exempt non-alcoholic beer?

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

This is why I said:

The police are required to prove the existence of alcohol in the container in order for your conduct to be a proven violation of the statue (depending on how the ordinance is worded.)

Chances are that the local ordinance will refer to the state definitions of booze:

175:1 Definitions. – In this title:

III. ""Alcohol'' means that substance known as ethyl alcohol or hydrated oxide of ethyl alcohol which is commonly produced by the fermentation or distillation of grain, starch, molasses, sugar, potatoes or other substances, including all dilutions and mixtures of these substances.

VII. ""Beer'' means beer, specialty beer as defined by RSA 175:1, LXIV-a, lager beer, ale, porter and similar fermented malt beverages.

XLII. ""Liquor'' means all distilled and rectified spirits, alcohol, wines, fermented and malt liquors and cider, of over 6 percent alcoholic content by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Liquor shall not include specialty beer as defined in RSA 175:1, LXIV-a.

Dan Patrick
Dan Patrick

I'm pretty sure this still won't fly. Non-alcoholic beer still contains small amounts of alcohol. It is illegal to purchase if you're under 21.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Wouter,

The police could be in some constitutional trouble if they use said searching/testing device without judicial authorization:

The United States Supreme Court in U.S. v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 104 S. Ct. 1652, 80 L. Ed. 2d 85 (1984),[FN28] held that the destruction of a powdery substance during the course of a chemical field test resulted in a deprivation of possessory interests, and therefore, was a seizure of property protected by the Fourth Amendment. Employees of a private freight carrier observed a white powdery substance during their examination of a damaged package. The employees summoned a federal agent, who removed a trace of the powder and subjected it to a field test. In due course, other agents arrived and made a second field test. The field tests identified the white powder as cocaine. The Court found that the testing constituted a seizure, since the destruction of a quantity of the powder during the field tests affected the possessory interests of the respondent. The destruction converted a temporary deprivation of possessory interests (the initial seizure of the powder) into a permanent deprivation (the destruction). The destruction of the powder constituted a seizure above and beyond the initial seizure of the package and its contents, thereby subjecting it to Fourth Amendment scrutiny.

Destroying the liquid that the police suspect is alcohol, absent a warrant, would constitute a "seziure above and beyond the initial seizure of the" bottle and its contents.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Wouldn't the LEOs be guilty of destruction of evidence in pouring out the container, or are they allowed to destroy evidence in their own complaint? What about evidence tampering?

That depends on what they intend on using as evidence. Having charged quite a few people with open container violations myself, I know the typical practice is to sniff the stuff, pour it out, and save the can for evidence. I've never had anyone plead not-guilty to an open container case and demand the state prove that the liquid was in fact alcohol.

When activists start CAPPING the container, demanding trials, and demanding that the police PROVE that the liquid inside was alcohol, it is going to require warrants and forensic testing.

Evidence tampering is something that YOU would be guilty of, if you poured out your beer when the police approached. Yes, if you poured the beer out as the police approached TECHINCALLY you would be guilty of a class B felony.

This is why simply capping the top invokes constitutional safeguards against the police invading your privacy without judicial authorization.

[Art.] 19. [Searches and Seizures Regulated.] Every subject hath a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, **and all his possessions**. Therefore, all warrants to search suspected places, or arrest a person for examination or trial in prosecutions for criminal matters, are contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order, in a warrant to a civil officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more suspected persons or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure; and no warrant ought to be issued; but in cases and with the formalities, prescribed by law.

CyberDoo
CyberDoo

Wouldn't the LEOs be guilty of destruction of evidence in pouring out the container, or are they allowed to destroy evidence in their own complaint? What about evidence tampering?

Course both charges would have to be levied by the State, not by a so called citizen.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Your video would not have a custody chain of evidence and how would you prove it is the same bottle and contents from a previous old video???

The video combined with testimony would easily be sufficient for reasonable doubt.

Or you could just leave the camera on for the entirety of the action... from the sink to the park to the arrest.

Tom
Tom

Your video would not have a custody chain of evidence and how would you prove it is the same bottle and contents from a previous old video???

wouter215
wouter215

something that came up in my head wile sleeping.

buy non-alcoholic beer and just remove the labels.. (put industrial tape over it if it's a can)

Puke
Puke

You could also drink something like tea out of a washed and refilled whiskey bottle.

That would certainly fool them until they smelled it.

Or drink something like water from a flask.

equivalents
equivalents

There are so many different beers on the market (domestics, imports, microbreweries) that I imagine a Law Enforcment Officer could be fooled very easily into thinking something was a beer, if someone did a little artwork and made their own Label and Brand. A little Graphic arts and a good printer could go a long way at your next gathering in the park.....A little FK's Pale Ale....Maybe some are alcohol and some are not? Becareful with beers marketed as "Non Alcoholic", I believe there is a very minute amount of alcohol in them (.05%), therefore the law regarding them might not be what you think. I don't think you can sell them to minors in my state....

Keep up the killer work........

Adam
Adam

Great article Brad, I liked how you ended it. Great point, it really drives it home.

Anyways, I wonder if the court would just set a limit on the amount of damages they are responsible for in this instance. That or they would just drop the charges but still reserve (and most likely use) the 'right' to arrest someone for such instances. This way the ones that would pled guilty would pay, the ones who fight would fight get off and the cops would keep brining them in.

Though this would still bankrupt the state, it could take longer than planned or perceived. Just saying.

Keith
Keith

People have drank non-alcohol in what was formerly alcohol containers several times in Keene without incident. Although, I'm not sure how many times the cops have actually seen the containers.

Good luck with your organized plan. Great if it works!

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

The actual damages would probably be zero........... or maybe the cost of the actual beer.

The punitive damages would be worth something... as a method to punish the state from behaving in unconstitutional behavior. The state would also be on the hook for Lance's (or whichever attorney you get, I'd prefer Lance to enforce my constitutional rights) attorneys fees.

So the state would probably have to pay: their fees+your fees+punitive damages.

A lot of money that can be avoided by leaving peaceful people alone!

Gabe
Gabe

Can you really sue for such a small amount? Is there some kind of statute on the minimum amount to sue?

Josh
Josh

Very nice, B-Rad. Wish I was there to participate with this one!

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Thanks Chaz.

And thanks Wouter for the inspiration for the cap/warrant idea. My next blog is dedicated to you :)

Chaz Munro
Chaz Munro

Right on target, Brad, Highline. Make it more trouble than it is worth in the long run to Officer Friendly to mess with people. Now that I think of it, that's probably why a lot of folks out there don't get the gist of liberty activism, or understand just why people stick their necks out to do it.

They've got a mindset that is stuck on the present, not any potential future gains from pushing the envelope. We are as a whole, beings that hate waiting in traffic, long queues, or even for our computers to cold boot. Admit it guys, we just want it now. Just ask anybody that had their cable t.v. go out how long of a delay they would be happy with before service is restored.

Time invested now poking at the excessively fragile sensibilities of those that man the system, will soon enough equal very nice payoffs for freedom. It will be worth the wait.

Bradley Jardis
Bradley Jardis

Wouter, thanks very much for bringing that up.

Activists doing the non-alcoholic beer (or simply just drinking beer) approach could easily defeat being prosecuted by simply placing a cap on the beer.

The police won't want to invest all the time in getting warrants only to find non-alcoholic beer.... and they can't seize things unless they intend to get a warrant.

So, their only option is to not mess with people drinking.

wouter215
wouter215

@Bradley Jardis

any liquid that has sugar in it will also test positive. any aluminium object will test positive and human skin after 5-8 min will test positive.

so they are not very reliable.

in the Netherlands i've seen a cop take out the swap tool, he put the cotton on it, and just by touching the cotton, it turned red... i guess the cop was handling alcohol to he..he..

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