Moorhead, North Dakota’s City Council has unanimously passed a new law which will allow police to arrest people who are drunk and disruptive in public and help move them toward addiction recovery. The “drunken intoxication” ordinance gives officers the power to arrest those who are causing a “disruption,” which is defined as behavior which includes “loud, boisterous yelling, urinating in public, or lewd or combative conduct.” Police can also arrest people who are found drunk and unconscious in a public place.
Consequences For Being Drunk In Public
When a person is arrested and charged with this new offense, he or she is not taken to the county jail to simply “sleep it off.” According to local police, those cells are reserved for people who have been arrested for something more serious, such as driving while under the influence.
Officers have options for dealing with the intoxicated person:
- Trying to find a sober adult who will take custody of him or her
- Going to detox
- Heading to the Emergency Room (if medically necessary)
- Driving around in a squad car until the effects of the alcohol wear off
The intoxicated person will also be given a citation and a date to appear before a judge. The court can order alternative sentencing, which can include programs that provide addiction counseling. Police officers are sometimes seeing the same people drunk in public places three or more times in a month, and setting consequences for their actions gets them out of the cycle where they are being enabled in their addiction. Unless something changes, they won’t move forward into alcohol addiction recovery.
Enabling Not Helpful For Addicts
Enabling is different from helping a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. When friends, family, or even professional addiction counselors start doing things for a person that take away the logical consequences of his or her actions, then they are contributing to the problem.
The goal of the new Moorhead law is not to punish people who are drunk in public, but to ensure that they appreciate there are consequences to their actions – especially for those individuals who are repeat offenders.
At Restore Detox, we know that getting drunk in public is a sign that someone needs help. Detox and addiction recovery can start as soon as a client comes to us for help. We can offer an individualized, natural outpatient treatment program that allows you or your loved one to return home at the end of each day.
Contact us now to learn more about how this holistic addiction recovery option can lead to a new, more positive life of sobriety!Read More