Public Excessive Intoxication Ordinance now has diversion programs in place

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (NEWS RELEASE) -- On October 9, 2018, City Council adopted the Public Excessive Intoxication Ordinance which consisted of creating a Diversion Program as part of an educational component for first time offenders.

A new study finds one in 10 senior adults are abusing alcohol. (Pixabay)

Several different groups to include the Eau Claire Police Department, City Attorney's Office, Clerk of Courts Office, Eau Claire City-County Health Department and University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire worked together to create two diversion programs specifically for individuals who have been cited for Public Excessive Intoxication.

Since the ordinance was adopted, we have worked on developing the Diversion Programs and have the programs in place prior to enforcing the ordinance. The Eau Claire Police Department believes the educational component these programs offer is very important. The Diversion Programs are now in place and the Eau Claire Police Department will be utilizing this ordinance to address public excessive intoxication in our community.

The ordinance will be used in our community when a violation occurs in a public space. The person in violation must clearly demonstrably be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance AND this person is or is reasonably likely to be vulnerable to harm, has caused or is reasonable likely to cause harm to themselves or others, or is causing or is reasonably likely to cause a public disturbance.

Examples of areas where this ordinance does apply are:
- on the sidewalk, in a place of business open to the public, on the roadway, or in a public alley.

Examples of areas where the ordinance does not apply are:
- in a house, apartment, or on private property

The goals of these diversion programs include awareness, education, and provide individuals the opportunity to develop personal goals toward preventing excessive intoxication.