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Police warn residents about cost of public intoxication/fighting

Police are hoping this long weekend doesn’t mirror last weekend’s alcohol-related issues, according to RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich. 

“Over the weekend (June 21-23), the Trail and Greater District Detachment RCMP received multiple complaints about public intoxication and consensual fights between people under the influence of alcohol,” Wicentowich said in a press release. “As summer begins, the RCMP typically respond to an increased number of these types of incidents.” 

He said that anyone who is intoxicated in public and/or is yelling, screaming, swearing, fighting in a public place while under the influence of alcohol could potentially the following:

  • Cause a Disturbance Section 175(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada – Summary Offence – Up to six months in jail upon conviction;
  • Intoxicated in a public place Section 74(1) of the British Columbia Liquor Control and Licencing Act (LCLA) - $115 fine;
  • Consume liquor or possess liquor in an open container in a public place Section 73(1) LCLA - $230 fine;
  • Allow a minor to consume or possess liquor in or at a place under one’s control Section 77(1)(c) LCLA - $575 fine;
  • Consumption of liquor by minor Section 78(1)(b) LCLA - $230 fine.

In addition, under Section 74 of the LCLA states:

Intoxication in public place

74   (1) A person who is intoxicated must not be or remain in a public place.

(2) A peace officer may arrest, without a warrant, a person whom the peace officer believes on reasonable grounds is contravening subsection (1).

“This is the section that the RCMP typically rely on when arresting someone for public intoxication and lodging them into the police cellblock or better known as `’the drunk tank`’ until sober,” Wicentowich added. 

“Canadian criminal law recognizes three degrees of intoxication:  Mild Intoxication:  alcohol-induced relaxation of inhibitions and acceptable behaviourAdvanced Intoxication:  There is a impairment of the accused's foresight of the consequences of his/her acts,Extreme Intoxicationintoxication to the point of automatism-like state  (R. v. Daley, 2007 SCC 53, [2007] 3 SCR 523 at para 41).”