TEN MORE COMMANDMENTS FOR NOT GETTING ARRESTED ON THE COMAL AND GUADALUPE RIVERS DURING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND (INCLUDING THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER SAY TO A NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS COP) Last May, we posted our now infamous "Ten Commandments for Not Getting Arrested on the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers During Memorial Day Weekend". Due to the popularity of that post, we now, naturally, present THE SEQUEL. There are, of course, far more than ten ways to get arrested on the rivers, so we now give you ten more commandments for not getting arrested on or around the rivers this Memorial Day Weekend:

1. DO LISTEN TO THE GUYS IN TACKY YELLOW T-SHIRTS THAT SAY "POLICE". On and along the Comal River, some New Braunfels Police officers now wear shorts and yellow T-shirts with the word "POLICE" printed on them. Yet, invariably, every year we wind up representing at least one person in an Evading Detention case who refused to obey one of these officers, because (the client will claim) he didn't know that the guy yelling at him to come over to the river bank was a real cop (because, as well all know, real cops don't wear T-shirts). They may not be the fashion police, but they are the real police. When they order you out of the river, come to shore.

2. DON'T DROP YOUR DRINK IN THE RIVER. As you might imagine, there are quite a few citations for Minor in Possession of Alcoholic Beverage issued every Summer on the rivers. And quite a few people have gotten the bright idea to drop their drink into the drink, as it were, when called to shore by the cops. What they don't realize is that they are likely to get a citation for Littering on the river, which in New Braunfels, actually carries a much higher potential fine than MIP.

3. JUST BECAUSE ITS FLOATING BY OR SINKING DOESN'T MEAN IT BELONGS TO YOU. It's common for people on the rivers to flip a tube or raft going over a rapid, often dumping their possessions in the river along with themselves. It's also become more common for thieves to hang out by the rapids waiting for people to flip their tubes. Once the person's possessions go into the river, the thieves scoop up the items before the submerged person can surface. So many complaints have been lodged in recent years that local law enforcement has taken to stationing undercover cops, posing as tourists, at some rapids, and have made arrests for Theft. Don't get caught being a Comali River Pirate.

4. GET A FRONT LICENSE PLATE FOR YOUR CAR Many tourists from Houston use State Highway 46 as a route to and from New Braunfels once they leave IH 10. Realizing this, law enforcement has made a Summer cottage industry out of stopping out-of-area motorists for minor traffic violations along SH 46. A traffic detention also provides a cop with an excuse to scope out the interior of your car for illegal items, ask you how much you had to drink on the river, etc. By far the most common such reason for a traffic stop on SH 46 (other than Speeding) is No Front License Plate. A front license plate is much cheaper than bonding out of jail for some unrelated offense. Get one.

5. DON'T PARK ILLEGALLY At first glance, it's not obvious what this has to do with the rivers. Last year, the anti-tourist faction of the New Braunfels City Council made it illegal to park in many neighborhoods surrounding the Comal River without having a city-issued parking permit. If you are coming from out-of-town to float the Comal, you ain't gettin' one. Needless to say, this has made parking around the Comal River a major hassle. If you park illegally while on the river, you are not only giving the local cops an excuse to write you ticket, but also drawing police attention to your car, including the contents of its interior. Most outfitters have private lots where you can park, as well as parking shuttles. Call your outfitter ahead of time for parking info.

6. DON'T JUMP INTO THE RIVERS FROM BRIDGES OR CLIFFS First off, it's dangerous. Almost every year, someone gets either seriously injured or killed jumping from a bridge or a cliff into one of the rivers. Secondly, it's illegal. All bridges crossing the Comal River belong to the City of New Braunfels, and jumping from them is a violation of city ordinance. Most cliffs on the Guadalupe River, such as Preiss Heights Cliff, are on private land. Trying to jump from one is likely to get you busted for Criminal Trespass.

7. DON'T LIE ABOUT YOUR IDENTITY OR AGE As noted, every Summer many of America's Youth (who are our future) get citations on the rivers for Minor in Possession of Alcohol. And every Summer, many of these same young people with bright, promising futures, attempt to talk their way out of the citation by lying about their name or age. Lying about your identity to a cop who has lawfully detained you is a BFD under Texas law, and in some circumstances can carry a potential jail sentence or probation. Having an arrest record for a jail-time type offense that involves lying can also be a BFD when you go job hunting a few years down the road. Just. Not. Worth. It.

8. DON'T CLAIM OWNERSHIP OR CONTROL OF ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU. As I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I know that chivalry is not dead. I know this because every Summer I meet a nice young man who, when his group was confronted by a copy at the river or a campsite, claimed possession of some illegal item (i.e., marijuana, a handgun) that did not belong to him. He did so because he wanted to prevent his girlfriend or best buddy from going to jail. Ironically, however, in almost every instance, by the time the case goes to court, the girlfriend is now an ex-girlfriend and the buddy is now an ex-buddy and Mr. Gallant is left holding the baggy.

9. MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR, BUT MAKE SURE TO GET A ROOM Almost every Summer I have the pleasure of meeting at least one young couple, very much in love, whose vacation passion found expression in the cab of a pickup truck, on a riverbank, in a tent that didn't have the flap closed, a hotel swimming pool, etc., and who are now charged with Public Lewdness. Even in the wee hours of the morning, the areas around the rivers are still crawling with other tourists, as well as cops or private security. You are not as alone as you think.

10. NEVER, EVER, SAY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING THREE THINGS TO A NEW BRAUNFELS COP: (1) "I'm from Houston." (2) "I'm from Dallas." (3) "I just floated the Comal River." Have a fun (and safe) Memorial Day Weekend. And if you have too much fun, always remember what we say at our office: "A reasonable doubt for a reasonable fee." Let the Summer Games begin....