Warm weather charges to watch out for

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Staff Writer


For legal advice on this subject, Ann Arbor attorney Laurence Margolis of Margolis Law was contacted as the expert source for local laws and ordinances.

All city criminal laws are misdemeanors. Only state laws are felonies.

State prosecutors do not charge city or municipal violations, only violations of state law.

Ann Arbor city ordinances to watch out for when hosting house parties:

  • Open intoxicant when party goers stray onto the public way, outside of public property.
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Sound/Noise Violations, after 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Owner, lessor or occupant can be charged if they do not know where/who sound is coming from.
  • Loitering
  • Disorderly conduct, fighting, public drunkenness, illegal drug use
  • Possible civil liability for furnishing intoxicants to noticeably drunk individuals or minors.
  • Excessive trash accumulation


Open intoxication

It is against the law to have open alcoholic beverages in a public place- It will result in a 90 day (in jail) misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500.00

A public place is: any street, alley, park, government-owned or government-controlled building, common hallway or public room or any dwelling of greater than 2 units, or any other place to which the public has lawful access, as defined by the city of Ann Arbor in chapter 108.


Bonfires inside the city

If the fire is in a contained fire pit then the law permits it. “To do an open bonfire, you will need to get a permit and show good cause, that it is safe, and maybe post a bond or show you have insurance to do it, Margolis said.

The problem for those on their own property comes when the fire pit is unusually large or the fire itself is causing a nuisance in the neighborhood and people are complaining.

It is against the law to have a bonfire on any private or public property without a permit and renders a $50.00 fine.


Drunk driving limits for on and off the water

Take some time to chill at the beach and add some water to your intake during and especially at the end of your day trip, to avoid being over the legal limit when you drive away.

It is illegal to operate a boat or water vessel if above the legal limit for driving, .08 blood alcohol level

There is a special division of law enforcement for water patrol known as marine safety officers that work as part of the Sheriff’s office.

All waterways are patrolled by these Sheriff’s deputies from Memorial Day to Labor Day, according to the Sheriff’s office.


Public indecency charges

  • Urinating in Public (misdemeanor)
  • Public Indecency/Exposing oneself in public (misdemeanor)
  • Aggravated public indecency (felony)
  • Engaging in sexual act in public. (misdemeanor)
  • Surveilling an unclad person (felony)

(repeated acts or multiple convictions can result in felony charges)


Camping precautions

According to the Huron River Plan, there are 3,285 campsites within the Huron River Watershed. 1,415 of these campsites are in state parks and recreation areas- Pinckney, Maybury and Waterloo.

All of these campgrounds have a ban on alcohol, defined under section 436.1915 of the Michigan legislature.

Violation is punishable by a misdemeanor charge, up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500.



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