Although these events are really enjoyable, the fun can come to an end quickly if you get arrested. During these festivals, many people get arrested for drug possession and alcohol-related offenses, such as a DUI.
We don’t want that to be you.
Instead, we want you to have fun and stay safe during CMA Fest, Bonnaroo and the other festivals Tennessee has to offer.
How to Avoid Getting Arrested at Bonnaroo
Below are some tips for staying out of trouble this summer based on actual cases we have seen:
- Do not possess or use any illegal drugs. Obviously, the best way to avoid arrest is to follow the law. Although you may enjoy some safety in using drugs at home, driving in a car and being at public events significantly increases the opportunities for law enforcement to find contraband. Moreover, using illegal drugs can impair your judgment and cause you to make bad decisions that can get you into trouble in other ways.
- Avoid becoming intoxicated. Similarly, alcohol impairs judgment and often results in bad decisions. Most obviously, do not get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.
- Remember that police are looking for you. Law enforcement knows that Bonnaroo and other public events are hotspots for illegal activity, and are on a heightened lookout for anything suspicious. While you should always be careful, this is especially true when attending a big event.
- Keep evidence of any prescriptions with you. Many people have legitimate prescriptions but keep their pills in separate containers. If the police find the pills and you cannot produce a prescription, they may arrest you even though you were not breaking the law. You may eventually be able to get the case dismissed upon bringing the prescription to court, but it is far easier to avoid arrest in the first place by keeping the prescription with you.
- Maintain your vehicle in good condition and drive carefully. A police officer can stop you for any violation from your vehicle (such as a broken taillight) or your driving (such as failing to make a complete stop). The Supreme Court has held that officers may stop a vehicle for any lawful reason, even if their primary reason for stopping the car was used as a pretext for looking for drugs or other contraband. If your car is in good order and you do not commit any driving infractions, there is a reduced chance you will be stopped. Similarly, make sure your license, registration, and insurance are up to date.
- Know that you have a right to refuse consent for a search of your vehicle. If a police officer has probable cause that you have contraband, they can generally search your car with or without your consent. Often, officers without probable cause will ask for consent to search in hopes that you waive your constitutional rights. If you know that you have something illegal in your car, giving consent to search is usually a bad idea.
- Avoid making incriminatory statements. Anything you say can be used against you, and sometimes officers perceive your statements as more incriminatory than you meant them. Although you should be cooperative about basic questions regarding your identity, you have the right to invoke the Fifth Amendment and tell the officer that you do not wish to make any statements about your conduct and property at that time.
What to do if You Get Arrested at Bonnaroo or CMA Fest
Our main goal is to help you stay out of trouble and avoid getting arrested.
However, if you get arrested, consult a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Criminal charges can have serious and permanent consequences, and legal representation is the best way to ensure you get the best possible result. Do not wait until the last minute before your court date, as the attorney of your choice may not be available on short notice.
We hope these tips help you be smart and safe as you enjoy the summer and all it has to offer.