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Sheriff’s Office says it’s equipped to handle public intoxication

March 31, 2016

Last month, the Placer County Board of Supervisors on a 4-0 vote (District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery was absent) voted to table a proposed ban on open containers of alcohol in the unincorporated county. The ban was proposed as one of a series of quality of life ordinances aimed at giving law enforcement more tools to address crime in the county’s unincorporated area.

In response to the concerns raised by the other supervisors and members of the public, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and Supervisor Montgomery worked to review existing law and ascertained that law enforcement currently has adequate laws and regulations to enforce on public intoxication.

Under California state law, public intoxication is a chargeable offense based on behavior that might “interfere with, obstruct, or prevent others from using streets, sidewalks, or other public ways."

After reviewing the current law, the Sheriff’s Office believes that the current statute is sufficient to address individuals who are drunk and disorderly and that banning open containers would not enhance their current authority.

“The ordinance could have unintended consequences for law-abiding people,” said Placer County Sheriff Edward Bonner. “Our focus will continue to be on alcohol and drug-based criminal misconduct."

The decision not to move forward on the open container ordinance is supported by the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office is committed to continuing to actively enforce the laws against those who do not obey the rules and keeping the public safe.

The open container ordinance will remain tabled for now, but could be revisited as a future option if deemed necessary by law enforcement.

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