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Albany City Council Bans Drinking in Public Places

In the past number of months, the Albany, Oregon police have noticed an increase in the number of people who drank alcoholic beverages in public places that don't have a license to do so.

A Ban on Drinking Alcohol in Public Places

As a result, on August 14, 2013, the Albany city council passed a new ordinance outlawing the drinking of alcoholic beverages in public places.

According to the local police department, they have issued 62 citations concerning the new ordinance since the middle of August until the second week of October.

Interestingly, 6 people accounted for 55% of citations while one individual was cited 10 times.

Many people who used to drink in public have refrained from doing so in order to avoid getting arrested. This means that most of the transients have moved on to different locations.

Commentary

As alcohol abuse and alcoholism continue to plague our society, local governments are going to have to develop different ways to address these alcohol-related problems.

For instance, police can set up more sobriety checkpoints and test more people for driving under the influence (DUI).

As we saw in Albany, Oregon, moreover, city councils can ban the drinking of alcoholic beverages in public places that that don't have a license to do so.

The Need for More Rehab Facilities

The problem with strategies and laws that lead to increasingly more arrests of alcohol-related offenders, however, is that in most instances, without a similar increase in the creation of alcohol treatment facilities, the more alcohol abusers and alcoholics have to stay in jail or in other kinds of holding areas while they await rehab.

Indeed, local government officials who think that their alcohol-related problems can be radically reduced by more arrests need to be aware of the fact that alcohol treatment typically costs approximately 20% less than incarceration.

Proactive and Reactive Approaches Are Needed

The point: significantly reducing the alcohol problems faced by most communities usually requires "proactive" strategies such as education, prevention, and treatment along with "reactive" approaches like arresting, convicting, and incarcerating alcohol-related offenders.

Having said this, keep in mind that one of the most effective proactive AND reactive approaches to reducing alcohol-related problems is convincing people who may have a drinking problem to get professional alcohol treatment.

To view the original source for this article, see banning alcoholic beverages leads to fewer arrests by the police.

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