Community gets info on proposed Eau Claire public intoxication ordinance

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Eau Claire (WQOW) –  The Eau Claire Police Department reports that officers respond to eight alcohol related incidents per day, and the county has twice as many drug arrests as the state average. Now, a new ordinance aims to curb the trends.

Monday, the public got to ask questions on a proposed public intoxication ordinance that could bring consequences to the late night noise. The meeting was held at the L.E. Phillips Library in downtown Eau Claire.

Many people took to the mic to ask questions and get more information on this ordinance, and it seems like more than most were for it. There is no such ordinance in place currently, but this proposal works to change that. The ordinance would simply make it illegal for people to drink on someone else’s property without permission, or be visibly intoxicated on public sidewalks or streets. Lastly, it would call for a cosmetic change, and not allow indoor couches or tables on people’s front lawns.

“We do have a growing issue with substance abuse and excessive alcohol related, partially to our culture here in Wisconsin and Eau Claire, and we need to kind of look at treating that versus turning it into a criminal issue at every point,” Nic Ashman, a member of the task force that proposed the ordinance, told News 18.

As News 18 has reported, Randall Park, 3rd ward residents and UW-Eau Claire students gathered to strengthen community bond earlier this month after the good order ordinance had failed to pass the city council.

City Council Member Kate Beaton told News 18 the ordinance applies to a much wider group of people, not just college students.

The city council will have a lot of public testimony to consider during their public hearing next Monday. They will take vote next Tuesday.

Justin Esterly

Justin Esterly

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