Thousands of people converged upon Galveston's beaches in mid-May, throwing caution and COVID precautions to the wind as they celebrated Go Topless Jeep Weekend on the Bolivar Peninsula's Crystal Beach.
And, though critics at first focused on the danger apparent in having so many people obeying so few pandemic safety precautions, by the end of the weekend the lack of social distancing was possibly the least serious outcome. That one weekend alone yielded at least 200 arrests and two gunshot victims.
The shootings occurred, according to police, after a fight broke out between a group of men with a group of women joining the melee before long. One man fired into the crowd, injuring two other men, who were airlifted to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for treatment.
The arrests were mostly alcohol and traffic-related. Nearly 200 people over the course of the weekend were arrested or assault, driving without wearing a seat belt, DWI, and public intoxication.
Expecting that the annual event might be even wilder than last year, with so many people having been cooped up for months and ready to blow off steam, officers increased their presence.
For revelers, avoiding arrest and danger at big public events like the Go Topless Jeep Weekend really isn't complicated. It's mostly common sense. The most common charges that come out of these events are Possession of Alcohol by a Minor; Possession of a Controlled Substance; Public Intoxication; Traffic Tickets; and Driving While Intoxicated.
You can take a few steps before the event to lessen your chances of getting into trouble.
· Make sure your driver's license, registration, and insurance are up-to-date and that there are no obvious issues with your vehicle, like a burned-out headlight or busted taillight.
· Don't participate in any known illegal activities.
· Don't carry a weapon and don't attend the event with someone who is carrying a weapon.
· If you do get into a wreck or get pulled over by the police, don't panic. Be calm, respectful, and provide the basic information the officer asks for, but consult with an attorney as soon as possible so that your rights are protected.
Everyone likes to have fun and events like the Go Topless Jeep Weekend can be a great time. The difference between having the time of your life and having a time you regret for the rest of your life can be as simple as taking a few precautions and exercising a lot of common sense. If you are detained or arrested during a festival weekend this summer, a Board Certified DWI defense lawyer can make all the difference.