Victoria decriminalizes public drunkenness: Drunks go Public intoxication decriminalized in Victoria: Drunks sent home to sober up home to sober up

Victoria decriminalizes public drunkenness: Drunks go Public intoxication decriminalized in Victoria: Drunks sent home to sober up home to sober up

Victoria will decriminalize public intoxication as part of legal reforms that will replace the criminal justice response with a health-based strategy.

Victoria's Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes said the new approach would expand on a strategy to put a health focus at the centre of police responses

Instead of being hauled to police stations, drunk individuals will be transported to their homes or sobering clinics beginning in November.

Attorney General Jaclyn Symes stated that the new approach would expand upon a goal to place a health-centric emphasis at the center of police responses.

She stated on Tuesday, ‘We want to invest more, strengthen up services, and ensure that people are not incarcerated while they sober up.’

“Public intoxication will no longer constitute a separate offense. We desire for public intoxication to elicit a health response.

Attorney-General of Victoria Jaclyn Symes stated that the new method would expand on an existing plan to place a health focus at the center of police actions.

Victoria Police will no longer arrest intoxicated individuals in public.Victoria will stop arresting people for being drunk in public, instead taking them home or to centres to sober up

However, Wayne Gatt, the secretary of the Victorian police union, stated that the measures would be “negligent and reckless” and that authorities would require replacement powers.

“In cases where no crime has been committed, the police will have to sit back, observe, and wait,” he explained.

We believe this will pose a substantial threat to the community.Victoria Police will no longer lock up people for public drunkenness

Ms. Symes stated that the amendments were not intended to have a detrimental impact on the police, although admitting that the police will not receive any new powers when the offense is decriminalized in November.

Victoria Police will no longer lock up people for public drunkenness

“These laws are about decriminalizing public intoxication; they are not about expanding police powers, and they are not about making drunkenness an excuse or a free pass for other offenses,” she said.

“The police will still have the option to intervene if someone is disturbing the peace, causing a commotion, or if there are concerns about violent behavior or the like.” We anticipate that this response will continue.’

Instead of arresting individuals for public intoxication, Victoria will transport them home or to sobering centers.

It has been more than five years since Tanya Day, a Yorta Yorta woman, died in a police cell after sustaining a severe head injury after being accused of being intoxicated in public.

In December 2017, Tanya Day was arrested for public intoxication after being removed from a train.

Ms. Day was arrested and transported to the Castlemaine police station after falling asleep on a regional V/Line train in Victoria before her death was ruled a suicide.

Ms. Day died in the hospital 17 days after hitting her skull at least five times in her cell.

Her family stated in a statement that health-centered law reforms could save lives.

“Our mother would still be with us today if Victoria Police had taken her condition seriously and cared for her with a public health response, but they chose to criminalize her at her most vulnerable time,” said the Day family.

She was allowed to die alone on the floor of a police cell after the officers in charge of her care failed to provide the level of attention necessary by Victoria Police rules.

Public drunkenness laws are antiquated and biased.

 

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