The Waste Management Open, notorious for hosting the rowdiest bunch of fans known to golf, starts with a bang this Thursday. The Waste Management Open is more commonly known by partygoers as the “Wasted” Management Open.
It’s an opportunity to get out, enjoy the day and watch some golf, in the normally serious golf atmosphere. The Open has turned into a crazy event with music, caddy races and various pieces of merchandise, which get thrown into the stands and sometimes from the stands onto the green. This is why you won’t be seeing Tiger Woods there, since a spectator threw an orange at him while putting in 2001.
Bars all over Tempe and Scottsdale such as Gringo Star and El Hefe, host parties for the event as well as transportation and party busses to and from the venue, making it a great and safe way to spend the day (for those of us over the age of 21).
With over 150,000 people waking up at the crack of dawn to start drinking and have fun there is expected to be a hefty amount of alcohol consumption; which as we all know is trouble for those underage as well as for transportation.
The Open has always had a hefty amount of police enforcement, but this year, it is even more of a force to be reckoned with than in the past.
With increased security measures as well as the DUI taskforce in full swing — drinking before the open is risky business.
Last year alone, the Open managed to draw in 119 DUIs according to an ABC 15 article and hundreds of minor in consumption tickets.
As stated by Matthew Lopez, a well-known lawyer here in the Tempe area, his law firm handles countless cases of minor in consumption, minor in possession and fake ID charges every year due to the police force at the Open. He is primarily available to those trying to work around the system and, best case scenario, the charges would be dismissed.
The charges associated with these tickets are not only expensive but stay on your record forever as a class 2 misdemeanor, which is a criminal offense.
The cost of the tickets themselves vary depending on the offense but average around a not so affordable $500 and can reach upwards of $1,100.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think many people have that kind of pocket change lying around.
Police all over the area are cracking down and looking to write these tickets, with a zero-tolerance policy for drunk drivers as well as underagers.
From personal experience, I have seen countless people stopped by police, being questioned and breathalized, not to mention the dozens of friends of mine who have received minor in consumption tickets.
When it comes down to it, the Open is a great time and a well known event. If you were going to go, I would advise against drinking before or during if you are under the legal age.
The charges you risk receiving for one day of drinking at the event are not worth a life-long criminal sentence or hundreds of dollars.
Reach the columnist at Lauren.Klenda@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @laurenklenda