Open container tops during ‘Not Fred Fest’

Open container violations and unlawful possession of alcohol by people under 21 dominated the list of charges made by the Fredonia Police Department during “Not Fred Fest” 2019.

The OBSERVER took a look at the 99 arrest reports provided by Chief Bradley Meyers for the period from midnight Friday, May 3 to 11:59 p.m. the following Monday. A scan of the documents revealed 84 of the arrested people were charged with the open container violation.

According to the village of Fredonia’s official website, the local law enacting that violation was adopted in August 1983 “to prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages in certain public places in order to prevent disorderly behavior and the littering of public places and to protect the public health, safety and welfare and to promote the public good.” The law expressly prohibits possession of open containers of alcohol in public places, such as sidewalks, streets, parking lots and parks. (It does allow for alcohol use, with permission of village officials, at Russell Joy Park gatherings.)

The law notes, “An open bottle or open container in any vehicle while in or on any public sidewalk, street, highway, parking lot, public park or other public place … shall be presumptive evidence that the same is in the possession of all the occupants thereof.”

There were 55 people charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21 years of age. Littering cases were far behind in third place, with 17 charges.

Unlawful possession of marijuana was also far from unknown, with 16 people charged. Police charged eight with unauthorized use or possession of a driver’s license.

There were scattered other charges laid down. Five disorderly conducts were handed out: two for obscene language and gestures, two for unspecified reasons and one for fighting/violent behavior. There were three alleged cases of resisting arrest that led to charges, and three sewer ordinance violations ticketed.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance charges were pressed on two people, and there was one case each of petit larceny and driving while intoxicated.