Wausau leaders unanimously vote for public intoxication ban - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau leaders unanimously vote for public intoxication ban


It's now illegal to be extremely drunk in public in Wausau. Authorities say this move is targeted at a small number of people who cause constant problems within the city.

Prior to the vote, police say there was little they could do to stop people from getting drunk and out of hand.

"If they're incapacitated, we can take them to the healthcare center if they cannot care for themselves. If they're not at that point, there's really nothing that we can do," said Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel.

Now, police can do more, as the new law comes with a number of fines. A first offense will cost you $150, and the second offense will run a tab of $300. City leaders say this isn't an ordinance aimed at the general public, but rather at a select number of people creating continuous problems.

"What we're really hoping is that we can manage the behaviors of the people in the core group that are causing most of the issues and the property damage that's occurring with the behavior, rather than effect the remaining 99 percent of folks that use the facility responsibly," said Wausau City Council President Lisa Rasmussen.

Rasmussen says she hasn't heard from anyone against the ordinance.

"The feedback has been incredibly positive," said Rasmussen.

This latest move comes just one month after Wausau leaders voted to ban disruptive people from city parks.

"We're ensuring the safety of our residents and of our visitors and holding people accountable that are creating disturbances," said Hardel.

As the new law takes effect, Newsline 9 will be sure to keep track of how many people are ticketed for getting drunk and out of hand.

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