Posted by: birdsongslaw | September 15, 2009

Weird Criminal Law Stories 86

Bismarck, ND: Police responding to a domestic disturbance arrived at Stacey Anvarinia’s home to find the mother breast feeding her 6 week old baby in front of them.  And She was drunk, they said!  Officers arrested the woman who later pleaded guilty to child neglect and faces up to five years in prison.

Now her case has touched off among moms about breast feeding, alcohol — and privacy.

Since Anvarinia’s arrest, blogs have been abuzz with comments questioning whether breast feeding mothers could risk criminal charges if they drink even modest amounts.  Authorities insist police were right to make the  arrest, even if the mother had not been breast feeding.

Birdsong disagrees!  We have already criminalized too much conduct in this country.  I ask my criminal law students to weigh in on this question:  Should police  arrest breast feeding mothers who may have consumed alcohol?  Why or why not?

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