City code on public intoxication comes into spotlight on St. Patrick's Day

With Monday being St. Patrick's Day, and Emporia already having done its heaviest celebrating over the weekend, public intoxication becomes more, well, public.


Emporia currently has a statute for Pedestrian Under the Influence on the books. City Attorney Blaise Plummer says this traffic code provision is meant for a specific action.

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Plummer says it's different from a DUI, because no blood-alcohol test needs to be administered, just probable cause from the officer if the person in question is intoxicated.

Police Chief Scott Cronk says 39 of these citations were written last year, but it's not meant to be a "gotcha" scenario.

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Cronk said one of the misconceptions is that officers are writing these tickets mostly to college students. He said of those 39 citations, only two were college students who did not live on campus. Cronk says they have occurred at all times of the day.

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Cronk said, according to their statistics, the people who officers find walking home usually drove to their party, and are making a much safer choice. Plummer says it's more appropriate.

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Cronk said several DUI citations were handed out during this weekend's St. Patrick's Day activities, but he wasn't aware of any Pedestrian Under the Influence tickets.

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