When you go on vacation, the last thing you expect to happen is a police arrest. However, some locales are quite aggressive when it comes to cracking down on particular behaviors that tourists engage in, and areas such as Sturgis is one of them.
Law enforcement agencies in places that have a large tourist population, such as Sturgis, often work extra hard to enforce laws against tourists to maintain order for local residents. With hundreds of thousands of visitors regularly attending the annual nine-day motorcycle rally there, it is no wonder that some tourists often find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Typical arrests depend on the area
The most common types of arrests for tourists often depend on the specific area. For example, at the Sturgis rally, law enforcement officers are particularly vigorous in ensuring that drunk drivers do not jeopardize the safety of the event, those attending the rally and local residents. In fact, vigilant policing of DUI offenses is apparent in that DUIs at Sturgis were down in 2018.
Another example of tourist-specific arrests is that of Colorado, where recreational marijuana use is legal. Sometimes, tourists bring marijuana out of the state, resulting in their arrest back home where the law does not permit recreational marijuana use. If Colorado residents bring marijuana to the Sturgis rally, police can arrest them on drug charges.
Local courts have jurisdiction
The place where police arrest you is where the courts have jurisdiction to prosecute your offense. That means your legal proceedings will take place in the legal jurisdiction of your arrest, which requires you to appear in court and defend yourself there, not from your home state. Depending on your charges, you may be able to hire a local attorney to appear in court for you. This can help you reduce the logistical difficulties in traveling back to the place of your arrest for your court hearings.