30 Warnings Issued for New Drinking Ordinance - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

30 Warnings Issued for New Drinking Ordinance

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BUTTE -

The new public drinking ordinance officially went into effect last weekend in Butte.

"We had about 15 warnings issued on Friday night, which would have been Saturday morning," said Sheriff Ed Lester. "Then again another 15 the following night also."

Butte-Silver Bow County police issued total of 30 warnings the first weekend of the new ordinance.

The county commissioners approved the ordinance that bans public drinking from 2:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.

"It's been pretty well publicized that the ordinance is taking effect and we would be enforcing it," Lester said. "So that was a little higher than I expected. On the other hand, that's 15 to 16 people each night that we've had direct contact with that is now aware the ordinance will be enforced."

Starting on New Year's, those warnings will become citations for people who continue to drink in public during those hours.

"Our goal is not to write citations," said Lester. "Our goal is to curb some of the behavior we were seeing after 2 a.m. We don't want to write citations, but we will enforce and the citations will start coming shortly."

Police officers will continue to go into Butte bars warning bartenders and patrons about the new ordinance this weekend.

New Year's night will be the first time the citations are given out.

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