Don’t get in trouble playing Pokemon GO!
The latest craze sweeping the nation is Pokemon GO! Pokemon GO is a new smart phone game where players travel around the real world looking for Pokemon.
We’ve seen the news stories about real world consequences for would be Pokemasters, ranging from accidents to robberies. But could there be legal issues as well? In Hawaii, there are several laws that people could be breaking while playing Pokemon.
The first is the most obvious. Don’t play and drive! In addition to being wildly dangerous, it’s also illegal to use a Mobile Electronic Device while driving.
It should also go without saying that you shouldn’t trespass into someone’s property to hunt Pokemon in their backyard.
But another way people may run afoul of the law is by entering a park after it’s closed. Pokemon are a lot more likely to appear in parks than in city streets. And some Pokemon are nocturnal, and will only come out when it’s nighttime in the real world. This can lead to people venturing into parks after they’re closed, and this could be a big mistake.
Under Revised Ordinances of Honolulu § 10-1.2(a)(12), it is illegal to, “Enter or remain in any public park during the night hours that the park is closed, provided that signs are posted indicating the hours that the park is closed…” Parks in Honolulu have blue signs intermittently posted around the perimeter indicating the park rules and hours. Entering a Closed Park is a petty misdemeanor, and can be punishable by up to a $1000 fine and up to 30 days in jail!
So if you’re out at 1 AM trying to find that Ghastly, or if your local park has a Pokestop in the middle of it, know that it is illegal for you to enter. And saying that someone used a lure at the Pokestop is not going to be a defense!
Everyone wants to catch ‘em all, but remember to be smart while you play!