Penn State has long resisted alcohol sales at Beaver Stadium, but as universities search for new revenue streams, the trend is moving towards college-stadium beers sales, just as pro-stadiums have done for as long as anyone can remember. In May of this year, Penn State announced that it would allow beer and wine sales in the hoity-toity suites and club seats, while the masses would have to get their drink on the old fashioned way in the Beaver Stadium parking lots. In 2015, Ohio State took the exact same segregated alcohol sales approach, but in 2016, all of Buckeye Nation will be able to drink beer in the stadium, not just the well-heeled in club seats.
Few people are aware that it is possible to be charged and convicted of public drunkenness in Pennsylvania even without consuming a single drop of alcohol. On its face, this makes no sense, as the very name of the crime suggests that the statute criminalizes being drunk in public. Yet names can be deceiving. The full name of the statute is "Public Drunkenness and Similar Conduct," with the "similar conduct" being intoxication from a controlled substance.
Perhaps the most misused term in the world of criminal law is "narcotics." Many people who should know better, such as police officers, prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys and crime beat reporters, use the term "narcotic" as a synonym for any illegal drug. Thus, in their use of English, marijuana and cocaine a narcotics, while Oxycodone is a "prescription drug." When I hear such misuse of the term "narcotic" I want to pull out my hair and scream. As a criminal defense attorney interested in linguistics, it is one of my major pet peeves.
In what can only be described as a strange glitch under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, minors can be charged with furnishing alcohol to other minors! Not only is such a scenario possible, it happens all the time to Penn State students. To add insult to injury, the minor in question will also be charged with "purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of malt or brewed beverages," pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308(a), better known simply as "underage drinking." A furnishing alcohol to minors conviction carries a mandatory $1,000 fine for each minor served, and a permanent criminal record, while an underage drinking conviction carries a mandatory driver's license suspension, even if the situation had nothing to do with driving.