HARRISBURG (October 19) –A bill to deter alcohol-related problems in West Chester and other communities is on the governor’s desk and ready to become law in Pennsylvania.
State representatives and senators on Wednesday approved Senate Bill 941, authored by state Sen. Jake Corman and cosponsored and spearheaded by state Sen. Andy Dinniman. The bill will increase the fines for underage drinking and public drunkenness.
“West Chester Borough officials have consistently said increases in alcohol-fueled misbehavior and crimes have strained their police department, which in turn has strained the local budget and taxpayers,” Dinniman said. “West Chester’s taxpayers should not have to shoulder extra costs due to the actions of those who abuse alcohol and decrease our quality of life through nuisance crimes. It should be the perpetrators themselves who pay, and that’s what this bill helps do.”
“Just as importantly, I hope the possibility of a $500 or $1,000 fine serves as a deterrent and stops some from drinking illegally and from overconsuming in the first place,” Dinniman added.
The Senate approved SB 941 in a 46-2 vote Wednesday. It increases the maximum fine for someone’s first underage drinking or public drunkenness offense from $300 to $500 and the maximum fine for a second and subsequent offenses from $500 to $1,000. Dinniman said he understands that the Borough of West Chester would use the extra revenue for police enforcement of alcohol laws.
The fines for public drunkenness were last increased in 1972.
Between October 8 and October 14, West Chester police made a total of 12 arrests for underage drinking and public drunkenness, according to local media.
For more information contact Senator Dinniman’s West Chester Office at (610) 692-2112, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.