complying with the law...

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

complying with the law...

Postby InGearX » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:45 pm

as a good citizen

I want to understand what is and what is not legal to do in BLC?

what are the official rules from Burning Man, the county, the state, the federal government...

perhaps a few of my questions will help understand what I'm tying to ask:

* is it legal to walk around naked? what allows for this to happen? because it is a private event - and thus we are able to make our own rule that supersedes the county/state/federal law (rather makes them not apply) ?

* is it legal to walk around with an open container of alcohol?

* where is it legal to have sex?
where is the line?
just in your private tent? open/closed?
in your camp / dome / ? open/closed?

* under what situations are you brought to a psch recovery tent vs being arrested and taken to precinct?

* and alike questions...

what actual code sections back these up?

(for instance here in NY state you can be fined for public misconduct as long as you can be seen by the public - it doesn't matter if you are drinking beer on your own porch ... or having sex in your apartment but can still be seen... so laws are very )

thank you...
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Elderberry » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:56 pm

Recovery tent?

The law is the law.

Let's just say discretion is the better part of valor--and staying out of jail.

Nudity is pretty much OK.

Sex in public--expect the same reaction as if you did it on a street where you live.

Common sense should be your guide.

There are plenty of places that will be appropriate, many obvious by just perusing some of the threads here.

Same goes for drugs. Unless you're as old as I am, and you'll probably have prescriptions for most of the drugs you take.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Eric » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:09 pm

InGearX wrote:* is it legal to walk around naked? what allows for this to happen?


Nudity is accepted with the understanding of "community standards"- it's something the community accepts, the LEO's (Law Enforcement Officers) don't really concern themselves with it.

* is it legal to walk around with an open container of alcohol?


Yes. However, you can still get arrested if you drive a vehicle (not a bike) with one.

* where is it legal to have sex?
where is the line?
just in your private tent? open/closed?
in your camp / dome / ? open/closed?


Public sex can and has led to arrests, fines & jail; especially if it's gay sex. Unless you are in an area designated for it that cannot be seen by the general public going by (there are camps set up for this), you could get busted. As you pointed out in your NY reference- you can get busted for doing something in your own tent if it can be seen outside the tent.

* under what situations are you brought to a psch recovery tent vs being arrested and taken to precinct?


If you're just fucked up you're generally taken to an EMT tent. If you're aggressive, violent, or stupid, you can get taken to jail, which is far, far off the playa.

because it is a private event - and thus we are able to make our own rule that supersedes the county/state/federal law (rather makes them not apply) ?


HELL NO!
ALL local, State & Federal laws apply. Nevada is pretty much a zero tolerance state for drugs & paraphernalia (I know of someone in 2010 who was hit with a $1,000 fine for having whip-its on him in public). If you are caught with drugs, expect to pay the Stupid Tax. While the LEO's may choose not to be aggressive in the enforcement of some laws (like nudity), they still apply.

what actual code sections back these up?


If you want the actual codes you'll have to do your own research- some of it probably is floating around the ePlaya. All my points come from experience, the Survival Guide & discussions here on the ePlaya as well as at the event.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby trilobyte » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:32 pm

Ask uncle Google or aunt Bing. I should imagine the internet is loaded with answers and details on the specific codes you're looking for.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Bob » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:39 pm

Have you ever camped? Anywhere? Please be specific.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby moonrise » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:21 am

InGearX wrote:as a good citizen We're all good citizens.

Maaaan, do you need online adoption or a phone convo or in person advice. Okay, I might as well have some fun and post what I know for you and everyone else in need of this. I'm feelin' punchy so here goes...

I want to understand what is and what is not legal to do in BLC?
I think you mean to say BRC
what are the official rules from Burning Man, the county, the state, the federal government...

perhaps a few of my questions will help understand what I'm tying to ask:

* is it legal to walk around naked? what allows for this to happen? because it is a private event - and thus we are able to make our own rule that supersedes the county/state/federal law (rather makes them not apply) ?
Yea we can walk around naked. Allowed because LEOs are horny perverts and like staring at naked people? Nudity is allowed. I'm just poking fun at the LEOs, haha. :P
* is it legal to walk around with an open container of alcohol?
Yes, you can walk around with an open container. You can be nude and walk/bike around with an open container, yay!
* where is it legal to have sex? Huh?
where is the line?

I'm not telling you where the line is, she/he/it is mine, all mine, mine!!!!!!

There is no line, because there's plenty to go around.[/color]

just in your private tent? open/closed? I'd say closed
in your camp / dome / ? open/closed? In your camp a freinds camp, in a dome, tent, RV, MV all best if closed

Best to lay low. One of my freinds has been going for umpteen million years. He just got off probation for having public sex on the open playa YEARS ago (he's had penty of sex since, haha). He's a camp coordinator and he told me the LEOs spy day and night w/ears and eyes and with night vision googles, looking into the tiniest open slits of any structure from afar. Maybe he's paranoid, but you'll find these things mentioned here n there on eplaya if you read for about 2 years! There are many here who know more than I do, perhaps the sock puppets or brave, experienced eplayans will post more about these subjects.

* under what situations are you brought to a psch recovery tent vs being arrested and taken to precinct?

It's NEVER your fault, okay? NEVER!! There is a sanctuary dome behind medical located near the opening to center camp, it's near the radio station BMIR. Go to medical first, ask for help at medical or the ranger's station. They'll quietly help and if needed lead you to sanctuary dome where there's a medical staff and highly trained head shrinkers there to care for the innocent victims of whateverthefuckyouingestedisnotyourfault happened. There are also well equipped medical stations/tents at 3 O'clock and 9 O'clock plazas. I know some of this because my virgin year I camped with the disabled camp and one of my camp duties was to give rides to disabled, injured, elderly etc burners...inlcuding rescuing troubled burners. I rescued a few 'troubled' burngins and medical as far as I know will not call law enforcement. My camp coordinator schooled me loooong and haaaard for several hours about what is kosher and what is not (thank you Nameless One!) I will always seek out one of our BRC Rangers first and foremost in all but life threatening situations!! So should everyone else!! Year of the Burngin, listen up Burngins!! Know there is IMO only a slight difference in LEO v BRC Uniforms...

* and alike questions...
Do NOT drink and drive a motorized vehicle. You CAN get a DUI/DWI or hurt some other person bla bla bla...

what actual code sections back these up?
Do you really need to know the codes? google is your freind. Call a Reno burner lawyer and ask, if you must know.
(for instance here in NY state you can be fined for public misconduct as long as you can be seen by the public - it doesn't matter if you are drinking beer on your own porch ... or having sex in your apartment but can still be seen... so laws are very )
I'm a New Yorker, wow it really has gone downhill hasn't it?

thank you...


Ya, you're welcome...I hope this has helped and now I feel durty. 8)
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Trishntek » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:33 am

Generally, open container laws and other ordinances concerning "decency" are city ordinances and not enforced by county, state and federal LEO. Even in Nevada, Las Vegas has laws against prostitution, but the State of Nevada has no such law other than regulating prostitution for health concerns.

Some towns have ordinances about nudity AND alcohol. If you serve alcohol, your strippers cannot be fully nude. Other places, it's all good. And then there are places like the Palomino Club in N. Las Vegas that was grandfathered due to its existence prior to passage of the law.

In BRC, the only "city ordinance" are the 10 principles. All the rest of the "Governing Rules" are county, state and federal laws.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Bob » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:51 am

ITYM "stipulations".
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Playa+Tom » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:09 pm

Read the Survival Guide.
If any questions remain read the Survival Guide again.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby InGearX » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:43 pm

thank you so much...
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby DrYes » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:46 am

InGearX wrote:thank you so much...


One other general point is to be aware of how easy it is for something minor to cascade into something larger than LEOs are involved. Be aware of your rights and where they end. Nevada is a pretty tough state. This is more important than in typical life because of the preponderance of illegal substances around, and LEOs desire to either bust you for them or generate revenue by fining you for them.

For instance, last year we watched LEOs bust someone in the camp next door on Saturday, before the gates opened. What happened was that a K9 unit smelled something illegal inside a nearby car. A guy was standing close to the car (I don't have any reason to believe it was his car, but it certainly could have been), and the LEOs asked him for ID. In some states you could just tell the cop that you choose not to provide ID, but Nevada is one of 24 states with 'stop-and-identify- laws, which give LEOs the right to ask for ID if they have reasonable suspicion that you're doing something illegal (like smoking pot in your car), and the right to detain you if you can't/won't provide ID.

So, the guy goes back to his tent, opens his tent flap to go inside and get his ID (quite possibly to try to demonstrate it's not his car to begin with, though I don't know), and as he opens the tent flap the cops see a baggie of something in the tent. Apparently just possessing a baggie of anything is enough probable cause enough in this circumstance to go into his tent, so they do, they find illegal substances (don't even know if they were in that particular baggie or not), and he's busted.

Anything you're going to do that might be frowned upon by Johnny Law should be done in private, and consider that as soon as you open the flap to your tent or the door to your RV, anything that can be seen, even briefly, is not private for that brief moment. Everything about you publicly should be squeaky clean, legally-speaking. You're much safer smoking a joint on the streets in San Francisco than you are out in the open on the playa.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby ygmir » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:14 am

DrYes wrote:
InGearX wrote:thank you so much...


One other general point is to be aware of how easy it is for something minor to cascade into something larger than LEOs are involved. Be aware of your rights and where they end. Nevada is a pretty tough state. This is more important than in typical life because of the preponderance of illegal substances around, and LEOs desire to either bust you for them or generate revenue by fining you for them.

For instance, last year we watched LEOs bust someone in the camp next door on Saturday, before the gates opened. What happened was that a K9 unit smelled something illegal inside a nearby car. A guy was standing close to the car (I don't have any reason to believe it was his car, but it certainly could have been), and the LEOs asked him for ID. In some states you could just tell the cop that you choose not to provide ID, but Nevada is one of 24 states with 'stop-and-identify- laws, which give LEOs the right to ask for ID if they have reasonable suspicion that you're doing something illegal (like smoking pot in your car), and the right to detain you if you can't/won't provide ID.

So, the guy goes back to his tent, opens his tent flap to go inside and get his ID (quite possibly to try to demonstrate it's not his car to begin with, though I don't know), and as he opens the tent flap the cops see a baggie of something in the tent. Apparently just possessing a baggie of anything is enough probable cause enough in this circumstance to go into his tent, so they do, they find illegal substances (don't even know if they were in that particular baggie or not), and he's busted.

Anything you're going to do that might be frowned upon by Johnny Law should be done in private, and consider that as soon as you open the flap to your tent or the door to your RV, anything that can be seen, even briefly, is not private for that brief moment. Everything about you publicly should be squeaky clean, legally-speaking. You're much safer smoking a joint on the streets in San Francisco than you are out in the open on the playa.


good info, good advice..........thanks doctor!
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby moonrise » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:31 am

There is an ACLU workshop/seminar given in Reno for awareness of laws pertaining to "on the playa Burning Man" coming up soon, I think.
It's a good thing and I think also available online. I was sent most of the info by my camp lead and we had a 'drill it into our burngin heads meeting" covering most of the questions/concerns the OP listed before we ever left for the burn. I might not have known it's illegal to drink and drive out there had I not been given the class. Even open containers within reach of the driver are illegal. Pretty much same laws as any other city in BRC.

Also, bring pills/prescribed drugs in original prescription bottles/packaging & paperwork for any prescriptions you may take; avoids a lot of hassle if issues ever come up.

I forgot to mention while driving anything motorized you can be given a DUI/DWI. Including entering from pavement to gate and exodus and just driving in from the gate to your campsite. Those little scooters, w/ engines 49cc or less might be exempt, maybe ask the ACLU (or ride a bike).
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Eric » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:30 pm

moonrise wrote:I forgot to mention while driving anything motorized you can be given a DUI/DWI. Including entering from pavement to gate and exodus and just driving in from the gate to your campsite. Those little scooters, w/ engines 49cc or less might be exempt, maybe ask the ACLU (or ride a bike).


In 2010 we were informed by the Greeters not to drink anything in the vehicle until we were in camp - the LEO's were sitting with night-vision goggles watching people drive from Greeters into BRC, and busting them for the open container law. We drove by one such vehicle being busted (though it was there for quite a while, I never figured out if it was a real bust or staged. The car didn't look very full of gear.)
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Savannah » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:44 pm

moonrise wrote:Also, bring pills/prescribed drugs in original prescription bottles/packaging & paperwork for any prescriptions you may take; avoids a lot of hassle if issues ever come up.


I do this with the ibuprofen, aspirin and caffeine tablets I carry with me on the open playa. The big bottles back in camp I leave as they are, but if I travel with just a few & want to pop a Vivarin from my travel kit at 2am, you'd better believe I'm popping it out of an original blister pak or 2-pill packet in case the long arm of the law wants to see it. Cops once descended on two friends of mine, shining flashlights on them while they huddled together sharing a chapstick on a lanyard. One of them said loudly, "Christ Almighty! IT'S A CHAPSTICK!" and watched people near her (no doubt with more than chapstick) take the warning and scuttle away. :lol:

Eric wrote:
moonrise wrote:I forgot to mention while driving anything motorized you can be given a DUI/DWI. Including entering from pavement to gate and exodus and just driving in from the gate to your campsite. Those little scooters, w/ engines 49cc or less might be exempt, maybe ask the ACLU (or ride a bike).


In 2010 we were informed by the Greeters not to drink anything in the vehicle until we were in camp - the LEO's were sitting with night-vision goggles watching people drive from Greeters into BRC, and busting them for the open container law. We drove by one such vehicle being busted (though it was there for quite a while, I never figured out if it was a real bust or staged. The car didn't look very full of gear.)


Yep, they're still doing this, so Greeters are still reminding people not to drink prematurely . . .
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:56 pm

Savannah wrote:
moonrise wrote:Also, bring pills/prescribed drugs in original prescription bottles/packaging & paperwork for any prescriptions you may take; avoids a lot of hassle if issues ever come up.


I do this with the ibuprofen, aspirin and caffeine tablets I carry with me on the open playa. The big bottles back in camp I leave as they are, but if I travel with just a few & want to pop a Vivarin from my travel kit at 2am, you'd better believe I'm popping it out of an original blister pak or 2-pill packet in case the long arm of the law wants to see it.

I have *pauses to count* to take a total of 24 pills and vitemins every day, and if I'm taking them direct from the bottles I have a disconcerting tendency to "lose my place"...
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Eric » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:09 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Savannah wrote:
moonrise wrote:Also, bring pills/prescribed drugs in original prescription bottles/packaging & paperwork for any prescriptions you may take; avoids a lot of hassle if issues ever come up.


I do this with the ibuprofen, aspirin and caffeine tablets I carry with me on the open playa. The big bottles back in camp I leave as they are, but if I travel with just a few & want to pop a Vivarin from my travel kit at 2am, you'd better believe I'm popping it out of an original blister pak or 2-pill packet in case the long arm of the law wants to see it.

I have *pauses to count* to take a total of 24 pills and vitemins every day, and if I'm taking them direct from the bottles I have a disconcerting tendency to "lose my place"...


I will completely forget where I am with my meds if I try to take them out from the bottle. I put them in my pill tray like normal (though I'm only 6 a day), but make sure I've got my prescription bottles with me. My "extra" migraine meds (as opposed to the "daily" ones) I keep in their bottle or blister pack, depending on which one it is. I've never had a problem.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Savannah » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:12 pm

Yeah, if you have a whole regimen you admittedly have to have a system. I just don't want anyone putting a Vivarin in a film canister and wandering the playa all night, then getting busted early in the morning when they can't prove what it is.

The other day I had a handful of vitamins, and had swallowed half and dropped one in a dimly lit room (God knows where it went) and I had no idea what I'd missed. Smooth. :roll:
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Finxiekins » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:32 pm

This is all very good information! I think you asked some very good questions - Some that I was wondering myself.

DrYes wrote:
InGearX wrote:thank you so much...


One other general point is to be aware of how easy it is for something minor to cascade into something larger than LEOs are involved. Be aware of your rights and where they end. Nevada is a pretty tough state. This is more important than in typical life because of the preponderance of illegal substances around, and LEOs desire to either bust you for them or generate revenue by fining you for them.

For instance, last year we watched LEOs bust someone in the camp next door on Saturday, before the gates opened. What happened was that a K9 unit smelled something illegal inside a nearby car. A guy was standing close to the car (I don't have any reason to believe it was his car, but it certainly could have been), and the LEOs asked him for ID. In some states you could just tell the cop that you choose not to provide ID, but Nevada is one of 24 states with 'stop-and-identify- laws, which give LEOs the right to ask for ID if they have reasonable suspicion that you're doing something illegal (like smoking pot in your car), and the right to detain you if you can't/won't provide ID.

So, the guy goes back to his tent, opens his tent flap to go inside and get his ID (quite possibly to try to demonstrate it's not his car to begin with, though I don't know), and as he opens the tent flap the cops see a baggie of something in the tent. Apparently just possessing a baggie of anything is enough probable cause enough in this circumstance to go into his tent, so they do, they find illegal substances (don't even know if they were in that particular baggie or not), and he's busted.

Anything you're going to do that might be frowned upon by Johnny Law should be done in private, and consider that as soon as you open the flap to your tent or the door to your RV, anything that can be seen, even briefly, is not private for that brief moment. Everything about you publicly should be squeaky clean, legally-speaking. You're much safer smoking a joint on the streets in San Francisco than you are out in the open on the playa.


Wonderful story with good points. That's crazy though - Would you suggest not drinking anything out of a can/bottle while at the gate just in case it is misconstrued?
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Savannah » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:21 pm

Wonderful story with good points. That's crazy though - Would you suggest not drinking anything out of a can/bottle while at the gate just in case it is misconstrued?


Nope. Depending on when you come in, you could be in line for hours. Drink water, electrolyte drinks, juice . . . most smart people will be doing so, and some will have hydrated better than they usually do for hours or days.

Drinking water or soda, etc, will not draw attention at Gate; drinking out of a beer can or a Jack Daniel's bottle within the cab of a vehicle will.
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Straightveg » Sun May 06, 2012 6:57 am

Savannah wrote:
Wonderful story with good points. That's crazy though - Would you suggest not drinking anything out of a can/bottle while at the gate just in case it is misconstrued?


Nope. Depending on when you come in, you could be in line for hours. Drink water, electrolyte drinks, juice . . . most smart people will be doing so, and some will have hydrated better than they usually do for hours or days.

Drinking water or soda, etc, will not draw attention at Gate; drinking out of a beer can or a Jack Daniel's bottle within the cab of a vehicle will.


So what you're saying is it might be a good idea to conspicuously alter the labels of my celebratory ingress soda bottles and cans to read "NOT BEER" just in case?
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Rice » Sun May 06, 2012 11:11 am

Straightveg wrote:
Savannah wrote:
Wonderful story with good points. That's crazy though - Would you suggest not drinking anything out of a can/bottle while at the gate just in case it is misconstrued?


Nope. Depending on when you come in, you could be in line for hours. Drink water, electrolyte drinks, juice . . . most smart people will be doing so, and some will have hydrated better than they usually do for hours or days.

Drinking water or soda, etc, will not draw attention at Gate; drinking out of a beer can or a Jack Daniel's bottle within the cab of a vehicle will.


So what you're saying is it might be a good idea to conspicuously alter the labels of my celebratory ingress soda bottles and cans to read "NOT BEER" just in case?

Why would you want to do something that might increase your chances of a encounter with LE?? Just leave your soda can's label as it is and you should be fine. The LE that is stopping people in the gate road are catching the amazingly stupid. Just wave at the excitedly, tip your soda in their direction and drive on. ;)
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby Lonesomebri » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:29 am

You enter the gate, and it's time to party!!!!! You made it !!!!

A couple years back, the first Monday morning, sitting in the shade of our cosco carport at our camp on the outter ring, drinking a cold one, watching the entry traffic. Day 1. An RV with Montana plates arriving after a long wait in line chugs by, happy people hanging out the windows, -Party !!!- followed by, I think, a dusty Washoe county cop car. Past the gate, on the avenues, in the neighborhood. The RV gets pulled over, a few other law enforcement vehicles arrive, representing several agencies. The RV crew exits the vehicle and the search begins. We watched , from the distance, for hours.......literally hours as the law went over the RV and crew. We saw 2 of the crew taken off in Washoe County law vehicles, and it looked like the RV was driven away towards the exit by a uniform. That long drive, expensive tickets, gas, supplies, planning, anticipation, the joy of arrival............ Those poor poor people. some Burn. Then we got on our bikes and headed into Mos Eisley with our beers. Not sure what codes were being broken, didn't ask...... Could have been no seatbelts.

Might want to wait until parking before popping open that first cold one on the playa.

Kind of like with parents, or the outer world, if you're going to ask, don't do it. Or like smoking the Bob Marley, when I asked a guy about that legality in Jamica, Babylon has Babylon, respect that, and Rasta has it's place.

Of course, another time watched a cop at a burn be offered a hit from a hooka and he walked away before finding out what was being smoked.......
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Re: complying with the law...

Postby SnowBlind » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:29 pm

Savannah wrote:I just don't want anyone putting a Vivarin in a film canister and wandering the playa all night, then getting busted early in the morning when they can't prove what it is.


Reminds me of the guy who put a bunch of Altoids in a ziplock bag. He's in the middle of one of the rave camps dancing, when his girlfriend wants an Altoid. He gets the ziplock bag out of his backpack and within seconds is surrounded by a bunch of BLM Rangers.

I'm hoping he had the last laugh, but I'm sure the situation wasn't pleasant.

Lonesomebri wrote:Of course, another time watched a cop at a burn be offered a hit from a hooka and he walked away before finding out what was being smoked.......


I saw a BLM ranger with an SUV where someone had written "Got Dope?" in the dust on the rear window.

He's driving with his window down, and a girl that he is passing by says: "Do you know what it says on your window?"
BLM Ranger plays dumb and says: "What does it say?"
Girl: "Got Dope?"
Ranger: "Thanks, I'm good, got my stash right here" and drives on with a big smile.
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