It’s in the freaking bill of rights: Thou shalt be entitled to imbibe, dammit. Or something.
Friday, July 8, 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS BOSTON – A man arrested when police showed up to break up a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house has filed a lawsuit, arguing he had a constitutional right to get drunk on private property as long as he didn’t cause a public disturbance. Eric Laverriere, 25, of Portland, Maine, was taken into protective custody by Waltham police and locked in a cell for nine hours until the effects of the alcohol wore off. Legal experts said his lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Boston, is the first to challenge a state law allowing police to lock up drunk people against their will for their own protection. Laverriere argues that the Massachusetts Protective Custody Law was written to combat public drunkenness and that the police had no right to use it to take him from a private residence. He also says he had planned to spend the night at his friend’s and wasn’t going to be driving anywhere. “One thing people should be able to do is drink in their own house,” Laverriere told The Boston Globe. “That’s the beauty of the land of the free.”