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During a seven-day period beginning June 1, Hardin County Detention Center booked eight people charged with alcohol intoxication in public. Now, state law no longer allows arrests on the charge, except in limited circumstances.
Under House Bill 463, which went into effect June 8, police no longer can make arrests for certain misdemeanor crimes, including alcohol intoxication in public, Sgt. Tim Cleary of the Elizabethtown Police Department said. Instead, officers are to cite misdemeanor offenders.
“We can arrest for alcohol intoxication in public if we think (the offender) is a grave danger to themselves or the public,” he said.
Under H.B. 463, officers also may arrest an individual if he or she refuses to follow reasonable instructions or there is a risk of failure to appear in court.
Five out of the eight arrests occurred between Thursday, June 2, and Saturday, June 4, according to the detention center’s intake log. Kentucky State Police made two arrests while Elizabethtown Police and Radcliff Police each made three.
Cleary said that’s a high number of alcohol intoxication arrests. However, he linked it to the Heartland Music Festival, which took place the weekend of June 3-5.
“We tend to see more arrests for (alcohol intoxication in public) when people don’t have to work as much,” Cleary said, citing weekends and holidays as examples. “It is the same with the DUI.”
During summer, people have more time to spend with family and friends outside where more alcohol is consumed, he said.
Bryce Shumate, spokesman for the Radcliff Police Department, said RPD makes more arrests for alcohol intoxication in public during warmer months.
“People are drinking more liquids during the summer, and they think a cold mixed drink with a little alcohol in it sounds refreshing,” Shumate said. “Really, alcohol is one of the worst things you could drink because it dries your system out.”
Cleary said those arrested for alcohol intoxication in public usually are picked up after someone has placed a disturbance call.
Typically, officers find intoxicated people in businesses or public roadways, Shumate said. Most arrests were during late afternoon and evening hours.
During hot summer hours, drink water to replace what you’ve lost through sweat, he said. Though a beer sounds refreshing, it contributes to dehydration and could lead to heat exhaustion.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or email@example.com.