Monday, January 10, 2011

Gasparilla 2011

The annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival for 2011 is quickly arriving. Those attending, especially those from out of town, should be aware of the Tampa Police Department’s “Zero Tolerance Policy” which was started in 2010.

At the 2010 Gasparilla Pirate Fest, police arrested more than 400 persons. This is more than triple the number of arrests made in 2009. A majority of the arrests were for Open Container, however, other charges included Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Battery On A Police Horse, Fake Identification, Possession Of Marijuana, Cannabis, and DUI.

The Tampa Police Department’s Gasparilla Zero Tolerance Policy (1/26/2010) states:
· Drinkers must be 21 or older to consume alcohol;
· Open containers only permitted in designated areas;
· Alcohol may not be consumed from kegs or large vessels;
· Must purchase alcohol from vendors;
· Only cans or plastic bottles permitted (no glass or Styrofoam cups or containers);
· No Fighting;
· No property damage;
· No Trespassing;
· No nudity or flashing for beads;
· No public intoxication;
· No driving under the influence;
· No motorized vehicles or bicycles;
· No weapons; and
· No illegal drugs.

Prohibited items (unless licensed, permitted and identified by Event Staff):
· No coolers (unless carrying formula for infants or medicine);
· No alcohol;
· Advertising/selling of any product or service;
· Glass containers of any sort (City Ordinance);
· Tents; and
· Fence, stakes or rope (used by spectators to reserve space for parade viewing).

Tampa Police Officers have made zero tolerance presentations to nearly 15,000 people in the community, most of them being high school students. Nearly 1,500 radio public service announcements on eight Clear Channel stations were made. Nine digital billboards will publicize the “Zero Tolerance Policy”. Additionally, citizens can text ''pirate'' to 333222 to review the “Zero Tolerance Policy.”
If, however, you should find yourself among those arrested at Gasparilla, Attorney Michael P. Maddux, is available to assist you. Contact our office Toll Free at (888) 703-2253 or locally at (813) 253-3363.