Few repeat public intoxication offenders, Police Chief says

The city of Platteville began enforcing a public intoxication citation in order to encourage individuals to refrain from becoming intoxicated in public locations.

“The citation is intended to address the behavior of the individual, rather than his or her blood alcohol content level, thus encouraging responsible behavior while consuming alcohol, providing benefit to both the individual and the public,” as stated in Wisconsin statutes, allowed under 62.11(5).

If an individual is demonstrating inappropriate behavior on public streets, caused by excessive inebriation, then it is possible that he or she may receive a public intoxication citation.

The cost of the citation is broken down into time frame and offence number sections.

The first offence will cost an individual $100. However, if an individual were to add court fees, then the total would come to $263.50, which if he or she makes minimum wage (tax taken into account), that would add up to about 37 hours of work. The second offense within one year is $300.00, plus court fees. The third offense within the same year is $550.00, plus court fees.

“So far, we have seen very few individuals who have been cited more than once for this offense. We are hopeful that the public intoxication ordinance is helping to encourage the responsible use of alcohol,” Doug McKinley, chief of the Platteville Police Department, said.

McKinley has observed that, in most cases, the ticket is given as a result of a phone call from a concerned citizen.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville Police Chief Scott Marquardt said, “The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Police Department does not issue citations for the city’s public intoxication ordinance on university property, as municipal ordinances are not enforceable on university grounds.”

The public intoxication citation is not enforced on campus but other tickets can be given to students for being excessively intoxicated on campus grounds.

In order to avoid potential consequences from public intoxication, individuals may take advantage of alternative options available in Platteville rather than walking home.

The Platteville Shared Taxi (Top Hat Inc.) has extended hours Thursday through Saturday, in which they operate until 3:00 a.m.

This option is safer than walking home and risking a public intoxication ticket and costs $2.75 for regular passengers, with a $1 fee per extra person.

The Platteville Shared Taxi can be reached at (608)348-6767.

More information on the public intoxication citation can be found at www.platteville.org.