14 March 2019 Savannah, GA, USA

How NOT to get Arrested During Saint Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Georgia

Guest post by:  Nathanael E. Wright, Esq.
Savannah has the second largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the country. The celebration promises to keep the city very busy. Unfortunately, the multitude of people and the events brings a certain amount of deviant behavior to the Hostess City. This article will walk you through criminal charges you could face if you let the festivities get the best of you. Don’t let the saying “come on vacation and leave on probation” apply to you.

How NOT to get Arrested During Saint Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Georgia, The Low Country Socialite, Plus Size Blogger, Savannah Georgia, Hinesville Georgia, Kirsten Jackson, Nathanael Wright

During the festivities, law enforcement will use state law and city ordinances to charge people with crimes. The important difference is that state laws can be felonies and/or misdemeanors, which could result in jail or prison time. States law violations can follow a person on their criminal backgrounds that could affect employment and educational opportunities. City ordinances are local laws specific to the City of Savannah which may result in a ticket, arrest and a fine. Ordinances don’t go on your record.

One of the most charged crimes during the festivities is Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Remember, a person can be charged with a DUI, if the police have a reasonable belief that a person was in control of a car (and in some instances other vehicles, e.g. golf carts and bicycles) while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. A DUI arrest could result in the arrestee losing their license for up to a year. Other frequently charged crimes are open container (a city ordinance if not in a car) and public drunkenness. It should be noted that Savannah allows the public to stroll with booze in certain areas. Public drunkenness can be charged under the state code or as a city ordinance.

How NOT to get Arrested During Saint Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Georgia, The Low Country Socialite, Plus Size Blogger, Savannah Georgia, Hinesville Georgia, Kirsten Jackson, Nathanael Wright

Another frequent charge given during the celebration is possession of marijuana less than ounce. This is a misdemeanor that can result in 12 months in jail and a fine up to $1000.00. However, in 2018, Savannah allowed police to write a ticket for first time offenders who were caught with less than an ounce, with a fine of $150. Before you start toking and walking, know that the ticket is at the discretion of the officer, further, the ordinance only applies to Savannah Police. In other words, other agencies do not have that discretion, so you can still catch a state charge. As you enjoy your libations you may realize you are nowhere near a bathroom. Before you resort to a tree or a bush know that Georgia has no public urination law. So while you are caught with your pants down understand you can be charged with indecent exposure, which is a state charge. The City does have an ordinance for this charge, but again it’s at the discretion of the officer.

Lastly, there are many other charges that one can catch while enjoying the festivities, but these are the most common. Remember, be courteous to the police, when the smoke clears and you are before a judge the person who was a jerk is more memorable than the person who was compliant. Most importantly, before you plead guilty to anything consult an attorney. With that said, have a fun and a safe experience.

Nathanael E. Wright is a Savannah attorney with over 20 years of experience whose practice areas include: criminal defense, employment law and personal injury. This is copyrighted material and used with the permission of Nathanael E. Wright, PC.
How NOT to get Arrested During Saint Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Georgia, The Low Country Socialite, Plus Size Blogger, Savannah Georgia, Hinesville Georgia, Kirsten Jackson, Nathanael Wright










Until Next Time...  

How NOT to get Arrested During Saint Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Georgia, The Low Country Socialite, Plus Size Blogger, Savannah Georgia, Hinesville Georgia, Kirsten Jackson, Nathanael Wright




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