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City unanimously passes drunken nuisance law
Getting drunk and making a nuisance of yourself isn’t a civil liberty, the Mankato City Council decided March 28 in a unanimous vote on a new law regulating “disruptive intoxication.” Student government leaders provided opinions before the ordinance was passed.
By Dan Linehan, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 3/29/2011]
Getting drunk and making a nuisance of yourself isn’t a civil liberty, the Mankato City Council decided March 28 in a unanimous vote on a new law regulating so-called “disruptive intoxication.”
That the law gained the support of college students was a testament to its perceived reasonableness, especially in a city where students have clashed with the council on alcohol issues in the past.
All that Minnesota State Mankato's student government asks is that the enforcement of the law be monitored to ensure it isn’t over-used.
The only real question the ordinance raised from council members was why it was necessary.
Public Safety Commander Matt DuRose said there have been many times in his 11 years as a police officer where there “hasn’t really been a course of action” when confronted with someone making a pain of him- or herself.
A common example is public urination, which is not necessarily illegal under state disorderly conduct statues. The city attorney has explained disorderly conduct requires a victim, which is hard to find when someone is urinating in Jackson Square at 2 a.m.
More to the point for Councilman Charlie Hurd, the law also specifically bans “loud, boisterous yelling,” the early-morning version of which has long been the bane of many of his constituents.
No one testified against the ordinance.
Specifically, the law bans “loud, boisterous yelling, urinating in public, lewd or combative conduct, disobeying a police officer’s lawful command or interfering with the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.”
Intoxication is determined using a breath test or a field sobriety test.
The new law will take effect in about 30 days.
For the complete Free Press story, click on http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x106231126/Drunken-nuisance-law-a-go?mailingdate=201103290601
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