18 April 2010

Increased Fines for Public Drunkeness coming in Baltimore City?

So suggests an article (with video, no less) in Monday's Baltimore Sun:

It's this excessive drunkenness, in Federal Hill and other neighborhoods, which City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young hopes to curb by increasing fines for spitting, urinating, public drinking and other "quality of life" offenses.

"We want them to come and have a good time, but we want them to leave the community the same way they found it," Young said. "We want them to be responsible."

Young will introduce a bill at tonight's council meeting that would increase fines for a variety of misdemeanors including scalping tickets and selling loose cigarettes.

People drinking or holding open containers of alcohol in public could be fined as much as $500, 10 times as much as the current penalty. Those found guilty of "disorderly drinking" could be forced to pay as much as $1,000 under the proposal.

Lighting up indoors, which was outlawed in 2008, could cost the smoker as much as $500 and the bar owner as much as $750.

Adults found urinating or defecating in public places could be fined as much as $1,000 — twice as much as the current fine.

The goal, says Young, is to discourage unhealthy and disrespectful behavior while raising revenue for the cash-strapped city.
The bill would provide judges with the discretion to impose the higher fee but not require them to do so, said Michelle Wirzberger, Young's director of legislative affairs. In a former job with the nonprofit Community Law Center, Wirzberger represented neighborhood groups in disputes with bars and nightclubs.


Mara said...

Drinking in public should not be banned!!! If I want to walk down the street with a cocktail in a plastic cup, I should be allowed. It works for NOLA!

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

I think the people who still live in New Orleans--at least the ones that don't profit from such behavior--would strenuously disagree.........

Sam said...

crap, best part of pride is bringing your own beer and drinking outside on charles street, festival drinking should still be legal right?

and if they want us to stop peeing in the streets, there needs to be A LOT more public bathrooms that are convenient and safe at 2am on my walk home :)