What is the name of your state? Arizona
I am over 21 years of age and I was recently arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors. I was at a local restaurant, (on an outside patio which is part of the restaurant) attending a social event for a college club. I bought a pitcher of beer (with a friend of mine who is also over 21 – they require 2 ID’s at this restaurant) and poured myself and my friend a beer (into cups provided by the restaurant). I then set the pitcher down at a table and walked over to talk to other friends.
A few minutes later the police showed up and started questioning people. Two of the people sitting at the table where I had set my pitcher down were under age. I had never met them or even spoken to them. I had set the pitcher on the opposite side of the table from them. The minors told the officers that they were drinking beer from my pitcher but never said I bought it for them or that I told them they could have any. (I never authorized them to drink from my pitcher) I was detained and ticketed for furnishing alcohol to minors. When I refused to sign the ticket because I could not read it (they pulled me away from the restaurant into a darker area) I was arrested. I was told by one officer "just sign it; it is like a speeding ticket." I informed the officer that I wanted to read the citation before signing it and asked for a flash light or to move closer to the light. They said I must stand right there. I refused to sign the ticket. I then asked for a supervisor. A supervisor was called and I explained to him why I refused to sign the ticket and I was arrested. I was never read my rights; however the officers did question me about the incident and asked me to "tell them what happened." I was even informed by an office what I should have done so that I didn’t get arrested. (He said to carry the pitcher around with me if I get up from the table.)
I tried to speak to a lawyer but was unable to contact one and then the officer took my cell phone away. I said I didn't want to speak to anyone without a lawyer and I was told that the questions they were asking were legal to ask without a lawyer present. (Which is not true because the questions were above and beyond my name, address, and DOB – which were asked when the citation was written)
After the officer took my cell phone away and I was asked questions about what I did and why I did it, I was cuffed and searched and taken to jail.
I was bailed out of jail by friends a few hours later. My bail was lowered from $500 to $350 because of a "paperwork error" but I was not told what that error was.. I am now scheduled to appear before a judge.
(I am not sure if it matters or not, but both minors were breathalyzed and blew .00. I think there was one cup of beer on the table closest to the side of the table where the minors were and it was either full or nearly full. I also do not remember anyone else being at the table when I sat my pitcher down.)
What should I do? I do not see how I "furnished" beer to a minor when I didn't buy it for them or give it to them in any way. In essence the beer was stolen from me while I had my back turned and I was talking to friends. Please help. Thank you!