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UA cop gives honest advice about staying out of trouble

By Audrey DeAnda
Arizona Summer Wildcat
July 28, 1999
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Arizona Summer Wildcat

UAPD D.U.I. officer Luis Pimber patrols campus, keeping an eye out for impaired drivers. Pimber offers advice to incoming freshmen on how to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

Arizona Summer Wildcat

A UA police officer has some advice for incoming freshmen who want to avoid the long arm of the law.

"Like Mr. Miyagi said, if you don't want to get hit, avoid the punch. How do you avoid trouble? Don't get into trouble," said Luis Pimber, the University of Arizona Police Department's DUI officer.

Pimber said freshmen are most commonly arrested for liquor violations and disorderly conduct.

"They don't know how to handle disputes in a mature manner," he said.

When students do get caught for breaking the law, ignorance is not an excuse, Pimber said.

"The first excuse I hear is 'I didn't know it was illegal here,'" he said. "Most likely if it was illegal back home, it's illegal here."

He had one tip for incoming freshmen who do have a run in with the law - be polite.

Pimber said when he sees a violation, he makes the decision at that moment to give the person a citation or a warning. When he encounters the person, they either encourage the citation or discourage it, depending on their attitude.

"If you aggravate the situation, you might encourage the citation," he said.

Pimber said he doesn't always give citations when he pulls over a student who's been drinking. Sometimes just pulling the student over and making the student do a field sobriety test is enough of a lesson.

"I remember when I was that age, I appreciated officers giving me a break. I try to do the same," he said.

As for drugs, the student can almost always count on an arrest.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time I will arrest for the possession of marijuana," he said.

When Pimber confronts a student who is obviously breaking the law and tries to hide it, he will most likely give a citation.

But honesty doesn't always get a student out of trouble with an officer, he said.

Every situation is different, and Pimber said he has arrested people who have been honest with him but given warnings to others.

Pimber's overall tip for staying out of trouble - be responsible.

"Don't be walking down University Boulevard with an 18-pack over your shoulder if you look 16," he said.

Besides offering advice on how to deal with police, Pimber said that safety is also an important issue.

Always be aware of your surroundings, he said, adding that the UA seems like a friendly, non-threatening setting, but for criminals, it's a perfect area for theft.

For more frank advice on how to avoid trouble, UAPD has an "Ask-a-Cop" program starting again in the fall. Two police officers will have a booth in the Memorial Student Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., every Tuesday and Wednesday.