Patriotic holidays—especially those involving firearms, alcohol and explosives—can occasionally get a little out of hand, resulting in legal repercussions for partygoers. Law enforcement officials even refer to July 4th as the second-most dangerous holiday of the year after New Year’s, due to the number of violations, infractions, and crimes that occur.
Intelius, a leading provider of online consumer background checks, combines data from multiple sources to create a database of nearly 20 billion public background and criminal records. We took a look at the numbers to understand the most common—and most unusual—criminal offenses during last year’s July 4th holiday weekend.
Out of 76,457 entries for offenses that happened between July 3 and July 6, 2011:
- 4,880 involved alcohol (largely related to driving under the influence, minors in possession, or open containers)
- 3,225 related to speeding charges
- 1,871 involved property (damage to, trespassing on, or incidents occurring on)
- 594 related to charges involving firearms
- 157 involved fireworks
- 142 involved boating (lack of proper equipment, violations of regulations, or operating while intoxicated).
- 123 related to noise violations
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some reported violations were a bit more…unexpected:
- Indecent exposure or public indecency (69 violations)
- Urinating or defecating in public (13 violations)
- Mail theft (28 records)
- Throwing or expelling bodily substances (4 violations, including one incident of throwing bodily fluids at an officer)
- Possessing crawfish out of season (2 violations)
- Waterskiing in a reckless manner (2 violations)
- Livestock at large (1 violation)
So what happens if you forget to use a Port-A-Potty, don’t keep your cattle properly contained, or steal your neighbor’s mail, and realize Independence Day activities might have added an entry to your public record?
One smart step is to sign up for a free TrueRep account, which allows you to see what others learn about you when they purchase a consumer background check from Intelius. Our enormous database is updated frequently, so if your holiday indiscretion is available in public records, you’ll almost certainly find out. And if what shows up doesn’t show you in a very good light, you can use our industry-leading Remarks tool to add your own explanation of what happened, so that anyone who runs a background check on you through our network of sites will hear what you have to say about the incident.
If you’d like to share a funny patriotic holiday story of your own, or if you’ve used TrueRep to explain why your party got a noise complaint, please visit the TrueRep Facebook page to join the conversation.
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End of Internet Privacy
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Internet Privacy Laws Lacking in U.S.
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