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Opening Arguments

Pretty ugly

So, I guess it's possible to be pretty and ugly at the same time:

Police arrested a former Miss Indiana for public intoxication and disorderly conduct Wednesday.

Terrin Thomas reeked of alcohol when she drunkenly tried to find her boyfriend's apartment early Wednesday, police said. Miss Indiana 2013 allegedly banged on doors and screamed, "let me in" for half an hour, enraging sleeping neighbors.

[. . .]

When the cops showed up, they found Thomas in the hallway wearing shorts, a long-sleeved shirt and socks but no shoes.

She slurred her speech and was hostile toward them, they said.

They arrested Thomas, but she refused to get into the squad car and pushed herself away.

The officers were eventually able to restrain her and take her to jail, where she was booked on public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest charges.

Ugly behavior, that is, which I don't mean to make light of. I've faced some personal anguish and had a drop too much to drink a time or two myself.

I've always disliked our public intoxication law because it offends my libertarian sensibilities. Unlike the DUI law, which requires a specific blood alcohol content to have been reached, the PI law allows you to be arrested merely on an officer's opinion of your state of sobriety or lack thereof. So it's completely subjective, and an officer can pretty much arrest or let go anyone he wants to. That's a bad law.

I discoverd when looking the law up that it was tightened a bit in 2012. You can no longer be arrested for merely being drunk in public (walking home from a party, say). You also have to be doing at least one other thing, which could include endangering your own life or somebody else's, breaching or about to breach the peace and harassing, annoying or alarming another person. There's still a lot of discretion there, since the officer gets to define what "breaching" the peace means, and, hell, I've been known to annoy people when I'm sober. That's a little improvement, though.