Posted on February 2, 2024 in DUI
Because of its good weather most of the year and scenic views, Phoenix is a Mecca for avid golfers and golf fans, with about 200 courses in the greater Phoenix area. But it may be safe to say that one tournament, and one course—the Waste Management Phoenix Open, held every year at the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course—is best known among them all.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of spectators attend every year (over 700,000 are expected to attend in 2024), and with that comes the potential for alcohol-induced criminal activity.
To say that the Waste Management Open is an alcohol-related event is a dramatic understatement.
In the video above, Craig Rosenstein, the founder of Rosenstein Law Group and a criminal defense attorney since 2006, discusses the top four crimes that have taken place in recent years at the Open and how to avoid them.
If you’re under the age of 21, it’s illegal to consume alcohol in the state of Arizona, even on private property.
People regularly go to the Open with fake IDs, purchase alcohol, and then undercover or uniformed officers cite them for minor in consumption.
Anybody under the age of 21 having alcohol will receive a misdemeanor charge as a result, which is unfortunate and avoidable.
Don’t drink if you’re under 21 and certainly don’t get caught.
The other thing our firm sees are the DUIs that take place either going to, leaving from, or surprisingly enough, taking place at the Open itself.
Going to, there is a lot of pre-gaming—people partying in advance of the Open—then going there and, unfortunately, not getting a designated driver.
The event itself is alcohol-fueled. A lot of people show up completely sober early in the morning, have great seats, and then end up partying all day and making the mistake of trying to drive home.
There are a ton of officers who are looking for any signs of impairment. If they see any, they’re going to immediately stop you and arrest you.
Additionally, almost every year, Rosenstein Law Group represents somebody who gets drunk and then decides to have a good time by jumping in one of the golf carts that are around on the golf course.
In Arizona, there is no private property exemption for DUI, so driving a golf cart on a golf course while impaired can result in an arrest.
And that’s not just for the Open, that’s for any time you go golfing.
For a myriad of policy reasons, the city of Scottsdale is one of the single greatest prosecutors of urinating in public (UIP).
Urinating in public happens in Old Town every night. Frankly, as the bars close and people are kicked out, they have to urinate, so they end up going somewhere discreet and get stopped by Scottsdale PD.
UIPs are heavily prosecuted and the Open is no excuse or differentiator.
At the Open, unfortunately, the restroom lines are often incredibly long.
Before deciding to use a bush as an alternative, you should be aware that in the state of Arizona, UIP is not just a petty offense. It’s a misdemeanor, which means a criminal record that unfortunately can follow you around for a long time.
It’s an embarrassing record, so don’t urinate outside. Use a bathroom.
Disorderly conduct is something that takes place in almost any circumstance where a lot of people are drinking.
In Arizona, it is unconstitutional to have a charge of public intoxication. As soon as that was ruled unconstitutional, what we saw was a dramatic increase in disorderly conduct charges.
So if you disrupt the peace of another, then you are guilty of disorderly conduct.
Getting drunk, yelling, screaming, and doing things that drunk people tend to do can easily fall into what is one of the broadest-reaching statutes ever written in Arizona.
For as popular as the Open is, the amount of disruptive people is relatively small.
Most people are at least somewhat respectful to the game of golf, although, usually we will have a streaker or somebody do something completely inappropriate and break up play.
Rosenstein Law Group has been one of the firms that represents individuals who’ve been accused of those crimes. They are prosecuted extensively and usually charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances.
They’re not just slaps on the wrist. Those charges can be extensive.
Unfortunately, some of you may not heed this advice in advance and need representation through the criminal justice process.
If you do, you can schedule a free consultation with us by calling 480-248-7666.
The Phoenix Open traces its beginnings to 1932, but the professional golf tournament did not become annual until 1939 when Ben Hogan, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope contributed their celebrity status to the event. Since that year the Phoenix Open has been held every year except for 1943, when it had to give precedence to travel restrictions imposed in World War II.
In its history, the tournament has been known by several names: The Western Open, The Arizona Open, the FBR Open, and the Ben Hogan Invitational. Waste Management became the tournament sponsor in 2012.
Over the years the Phoenix Open has grown in popularity to become one of the most popular destinations for the PGA Tour. The PGA has named it the Tournament of the Year five times. Golfers and spectators alike often refer to it as “The People’s Open.” Since 1986 a major part of the draw of the tournament is its unique setting: an 18-hole golf course with a stadium surrounding its 16th hole, a festive environment that is also known as “The loudest hole in golf.”
TPC Scottsdale is Arizona’s only PGA Tour property. It has two PGA-level courses: The Stadium Course, where the WM Phoenix Open is held, along with its companion Champions Course. When not in use for the Phoenix Open both courses are available to the public. The Stadium Course was renovated in 2014.
The 2024 Waste Management Phoenix Open is the 89th time the tournament will be held and the 37th time that TPC Scottsdale will host the event. It will take place between Saturday, February 3rd and Sunday, February 11th. Historically the tournament has drawn more than 600,000 spectators; more than 700,000 are expected to attend this year.
The WM Phoenix Open is first and foremost a PGA Tour event, but it has two additional features that make it stand out even more than its iconic location: a robust entertainment environment, and a commitment to maintaining a 100 percent waste-free setting.
The WM Phoenix Open is one of the most popular PGA Tour tournaments, and not just for the golf action. The event features many entertainment options including:
One nickname for the WM Phoenix Open tournament experience is, “The Greenest Show on Earth.” This is no idle boast; the tournament is the largest zero-waste event on the planet.
When Waste Management became the sponsor of the Phoenix Open the company introduced many innovative sustainability efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate the generation of landfill waste from the tournament.
In 2022, Waste Management’s efforts led to the tournament diverting all of its generated waste from landfills. The PGA Tour has awarded the WM Phoenix Open its “Best Title Sponsor Integration Award” for its work to divert 100 percent of waste from landfills. In addition, the Golf Environment Organization has certified the TPC Scottsdale facilities for environmental sustainability since 2019.
The Zero Waste Challenge includes several innovative measures to reduce waste generation and conserve renewable resources. Examples include:
The Thunderbirds is an organization that has been associated with the Phoenix Open since 1939, which has been dedicated to raising money for local charities and improving local quality of life. Since its founding, the Thunderbirds has raised more than $165 million in charity funding and has made an estimated positive impact on the Phoenix economy valued at more than $450 million.
The TPC Scottsdale gates open at 7:00 am daily. If you want a seat at The Coliseum on the 16th Hole, you might want to come early, especially on Friday or Saturday.
Free parking for cars and motorcycles is available in multiple lots. Parking lots open at 7:00 am but, depending on the lot, close at 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, or 11:00 pm. Free shuttles are available at variable times at some of these parking areas, but not all of them have free shuttle service.
For detailed parking information and to download event maps, click here.
The tournament organizers encourage spectators to consider rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. Bicycle park-and-lock space is also available.
General admission is $75 per person during the tournament week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and $100 per person on Friday and Saturday. Practice rounds take place on Monday and Tuesday. Admission is free on both of these days.
Weekly sponsor packages are available for $850. These include four sponsor badges and a general parking pass.
Children up to 15 years old have free admission to the tournament grounds, but children four years old and older will need a credential to enter some of the hospitality venues.
The WM Phoenix Open does not permit anyone to bring alcohol into the event or to leave with alcohol. You can find the course alcohol policy here.
The first round of the tournament begins on Thursday, February 8th, with subsequent rounds on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tournament rounds usually end around 3:30 pm.
The most crowded day is usually Saturday. The least crowded day should be Sunday, at least in part because this is the same day as the Super Bowl. For more information on the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, you can find the tournament website here.