Clovis Drunk Ordinance

April 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Under a proposed new ordinance, anyone who's declared a public drunk can be denied a drink at a bar, or a bottle at a liquor store.Clovis Mayor Bob Whalen says it's an idea whose time has come. He says, "The ordinance says if somebody has been arrested for violation of the penal code section that deals with public drunkenness three times within the last six months they are going to be designated as someone who is a habitual drunk."

If the ordinance passes that means pictures of those public drunks will be posted in the city's bars and liquor stores. But they will be out of public view. Clerks and bartenders will be told not to serve those people the police define as drunks.

Bartender Kim Bankston thinks it will be hard to deal with. She says, "You'd have to have some kind of rolodex and every person that came into your establishment for a beverage purchase would have to be looked up, that would just be a huge inconvenience to stop and do that every time somebody came in, I don't even see how it's possible."

Liquor stores would also have to check out their customers. Something liquor store operator Harpreet Deol says may be tough. "We can try, we can try, but it's like, sometime this line is busy, you never know."

But Mayor Whalen believes it won't be that difficult. He says the goal is to identify the worst of the worst. He says that's about a dozen people who Whalen believes are familiar faces in the street.

"If it is known and we are identified as a community that's not going to tolerate public drunkenness and the ability to continue to purchase alcohol despite your drunkenness then we think we are going to be able to keep that becoming a bigger number than the ten or fifteen that have been identified," says Mayor Whalen.

Under the ordinance anyone selling alcohol to a habitual or common drunkard could be found guilty of a misdemeanor.

The city council will consider the ordinance at their meeting on April 14th, and then take final action on April 21st.


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