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Old 01-18-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Sunny Arizona
622 posts, read 1,494,937 times
Reputation: 515

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I've been reading what I can find on this ban, and I wanted to post what I found that appears to be a messy legal reason behind this alcohol ban. This is not my research, so if this can be verified or disputed by someone here, please do tell!

According to the information I was told, Section 6 of the constitution of New Mexico allows law enforcement to regulate or prohibit any amusement or practice that tends to annoy persons on a street or public ground which includes public intoxication. This supposedly means that Law enforcement can intervene with those involved in public intoxication to the extent that they can be picked up, detained, held in protective custody, taken to a detoxication facility.

The catch appears to be is that the NM State legislature has a restriction placed upon non-state governments like cities and counties from enacting any law where "intoxication" is an element of the crime, reserving that right solely for the State. There are also no specific arrestable state laws in NM that say something like "the offense of public intoxication is a misdemeanor". So what this seems to boil down to, is that you can't just arrest them and put them in jail for public intoxication because the city law doesn't have the right to do it. "Getting tough" with public drunks doesn't seem to be possible.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:26 PM
RKW
 
24 posts, read 61,195 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minathebrat View Post
I've been reading what I can find on this ban, and I wanted to post what I found that appears to be a messy legal reason behind this alcohol ban. This is not my research, so if this can be verified or disputed by someone here, please do tell!

According to the information I was told, Section 6 of the constitution of New Mexico allows law enforcement to regulate or prohibit any amusement or practice that tends to annoy persons on a street or public ground which includes public intoxication. This supposedly means that Law enforcement can intervene with those involved in public intoxication to the extent that they can be picked up, detained, held in protective custody, taken to a detoxication facility.

The catch appears to be is that the NM State legislature has a restriction placed upon non-state governments like cities and counties from enacting any law where "intoxication" is an element of the crime, reserving that right solely for the State. There are also no specific arrestable state laws in NM that say something like "the offense of public intoxication is a misdemeanor". So what this seems to boil down to, is that you can't just arrest them and put them in jail for public intoxication because the city law doesn't have the right to do it. "Getting tough" with public drunks doesn't seem to be possible.
You sir are exactly correct in your research. The crux of the problem is that NM munis cannot charge a person with public intoxication. Instead they must go the circuitous route of selective alcohol bans and selective law enforcement.

Last edited by RKW; 01-18-2009 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:37 PM
RKW
 
24 posts, read 61,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianH View Post
Nowhere does the OP state cheap high gravity beer. It says high gravity beer. This does not affect drunks in any way aside from the fact the have to switch beer. Do you think a drunk will say "Dang, I cant get my MD2020 I need to quit drinking" ?

If I lived there all my Import beers would be gone too. THey are 11% and cost around $10 a bottle. Its a beer but it would fall under that law.
The OP stated: "Apparently microbrews and things like sherry and corked wine are not included, so it appears that the ban is going after the cheap stuff.", and he is correct. I attended the city council meeting that passed the law and that was precisely the intent of the law. The very beers that the council was targeting were on exhibit during the meeting.

No, I do not think a drunk who is prevented from buying cheap beer or fortified wines would stop drinking, but I do believe they would in fact drift off to another location to live their street life. That happened in Gallup. Farmington now has a significant number of those street drunks who once hung out in Gallup. Ironically the architics of the Gallup municipal laws have been meeting with officials in Farmington and advising them on this issue.

If you lived here your imported beers might be banned, but you don't live here. If you did, you might not see that as a big inconvienence compared to the profound alcohol problem that exists in this city.

Last edited by RKW; 01-18-2009 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Tejas
7,504 posts, read 15,972,288 times
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My brews are not microbrews and the imports would be banned too.
How exactly does getting them to move to a different location fix anything ?
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Sunny Arizona
622 posts, read 1,494,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKW View Post
The OP stated: "Apparently microbrews and things like sherry and corked wine are not included, so it appears that the ban is going after the cheap stuff.", and he is correct. I attended the city council meeting that passed the law and that was precisely the intent of the law. The very beers that the council was targeting were on exhibit during the meeting.

No, I do not think a drunk who is prevented from buying cheap beer or fortified wines would stop drinking, but I do believe they would in fact drift off to another location to live their street life. That happened in Gallup. Farmington now has a significant number of those street drunks who once hung out in Gallup. Ironically the architics of the Gallup municipal laws have been meeting with officials in Farmington and advising them on this issue.

If you lived here your imported beers might be banned, but you don't live here. If you did, you might not see that as a big inconvienence compared to the profound alcohol problem that exists in this city.

I'm a she! LOL but thank you for the information. Thank you for sharing your insight from the city council meeting.

So if I may try to summarize, it seems to me that since the city of Farmington essentially feels that the state has tied it's hands in effectively dealing with the problem of public drunkenness, all they can do is ban alcohol they think drunks favor in the hope that this will get the drunks to migrate to another city/town and become somebody else's headache.

Isn't there a way to get the state to change their alcohol law policy? How does that work? I've heard that New Mexico is one of the few states left in the union where citizens cannot get a petiton together and by number of signatures, create a public vote on an issue.
Anyone know if this is true?
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:12 PM
RKW
 
24 posts, read 61,195 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianH View Post
My brews are not microbrews and the imports would be banned too.
How exactly does getting them to move to a different location fix anything ?
The ban does not affect home brewers or micro-breweries. The language of the ordinance specifically addresses this issue.

Moving the street inebriates fixes as much as can be fixed considering the complexity of the issue. If there was a hobo camp next to your house and the sherriff put the hobos in a bus and dropped them off at the county line, you could now walk out your front door without being hustled for money, your children would not have to be subject to the sight of fornicators in the bushes, and you wouldn't have to pick up empty wine bottles. That solution doesn't help the plight of the hobos, but it sure helps your situation.

Last edited by RKW; 01-18-2009 at 08:21 PM..
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:20 PM
RKW
 
24 posts, read 61,195 times
Reputation: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minathebrat View Post
I'm a she! LOL but thank you for the information. Thank you for sharing your insight from the city council meeting.

So if I may try to summarize, it seems to me that since the city of Farmington essentially feels that the state has tied it's hands in effectively dealing with the problem of public drunkenness, all they can do is ban alcohol they think drunks favor in the hope that this will get the drunks to migrate to another city/town and become somebody else's headache.

Isn't there a way to get the state to change their alcohol law policy? How does that work? I've heard that New Mexico is one of the few states left in the union where citizens cannot get a petiton together and by number of signatures, create a public vote on an issue.
Anyone know if this is true?
Oops! Sorry Miss.

That's a fair summary of what municipalities are up against in NM.

I'm not sure if NM denies public voting based on a citizen petition.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:19 PM
 
Location: San Juan County, New Mexico
261 posts, read 818,223 times
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Virtually all of the street drunks in Farmington are Navajo. This in itself presents the city with the very real problem of trying to figure out how to correct the situation without constantly fighting the charge of being a racist community. (Ya have to dig a little deeper and find the stories on the US Civil Rights Commission's visits to Farmington)

Understand that as a border town, we're absorbing more than our share of alcoholics from the reservation where alcohol is banned.

The whole issue is another manifestation of the train wreck between two totally opposite cultures. If anyone has an answer, come on down.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Tejas
7,504 posts, read 15,972,288 times
Reputation: 5025
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKW View Post
The ban does not affect home brewers or micro-breweries. The language of the ordinance specifically addresses this issue.

Moving the street inebriates fixes as much as can be fixed considering the complexity of the issue. If there was a hobo camp next to your house and the sherriff put the hobos in a bus and dropped them off at the county line, you could now walk out your front door without being hustled for money, your children would not have to be subject to the sight of fornicators in the bushes, and you wouldn't have to pick up empty wine bottles. That solution doesn't help the plight of the hobos, but it sure helps your situation.
I know it my homebrew and microbrew wouldnt be affected. But an expensie $11 bottle of Chimay would hehe.

I can understand having a hobo outside the house and not wanting them there. But moving them away from one spot and shifting them off to the county only makes it an issue for the county then. So the problem is not solved, just moved along. Hence why I said earlier on it is just an ordiance for the council to pat themselves on the back.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:33 PM
 
Location: New Mexico to Texas
4,552 posts, read 13,149,391 times
Reputation: 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minathebrat View Post
I'm a she! LOL but thank you for the information. Thank you for sharing your insight from the city council meeting.

So if I may try to summarize, it seems to me that since the city of Farmington essentially feels that the state has tied it's hands in effectively dealing with the problem of public drunkenness, all they can do is ban alcohol they think drunks favor in the hope that this will get the drunks to migrate to another city/town and become somebody else's headache.

Isn't there a way to get the state to change their alcohol law policy? How does that work? I've heard that New Mexico is one of the few states left in the union where citizens cannot get a petiton together and by number of signatures, create a public vote on an issue.
Anyone know if this is true?

If I remember correctly,last year Clovis,NM had a petition going to sell alcohol on sundays at restaurants but I dont remember the outcome or if it even passed, Eastern NM is kinda stuck in their own ways, nearby TX counties are dry.
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