Board approves public intoxication ordinance
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – An ordinance drafted to address problems with public intoxication was unanimously approved Tuesday, May 22, by the Ashwaubenon village board.
The ordinance, which will take effect upon publication in The Press, states, “No person in a public place shall conduct him or herself in such a manner as to become an intoxicated or incapacitated person and to create a public nuisance.”
“By creating this ordinance, it gives a tool to the public safety officers to issue citations when someone’s crossed that line where they become a nuisance,” said Ashwaubenon Department of Public Safety Chief Eric Dunning.
Any person found in violation of the measure will be issued a citation and subject to a fine of not less than $200 together with costs.
A subsequent violation within a year would subject someone to a fine of not less than $400 together with costs.
Dunning said the public safety department, which works Packers games and other special events in the village’s Sports and Entertainment District, has the responsibility of being a “community caretaker” when coming in contact with individuals who are intoxicated to make sure they are properly cared for.
“This is probably directed at a small 1 or 2 percent, but these 1 or 2 percent take up our time, and most of the time we’re getting complaints from business owners or patrons seeing, observing, behaviors of these people,” he said. “This year we’re holding people accountable for their actions.”
Dunning said the ordinance can be applied to situations such as when intoxicated individuals are kicked out of a business and continue to re-enter, public urination or falling asleep in public after having too much to drink.
He said the ordinance is modeled after public intoxication ordinances in the cities of La Crosse and Menomonie, which both have universities in urban areas and host outdoor special events and festivals.