Supervisors consider underage drinking ordinance
By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 18, 2001
The Lauderdale County supervisors may set a public hearing Monday to give residents a chance to comment on a proposed ordinance that would give sheriff's deputies more authority to arrest underage drinkers.
Sheriff Billy Sollie discussed the proposed ordinance with the Board of Supervisors and Board Attorney Rick Barry at a work session Thursday. Sollie wants the board to adopt an ordinance similar to Meridian's.
He said state law allows deputies to arrest minors for possession of alcohol and public drunkenness.
The ordinance would allow deputies to arrest underage drinkers for consuming alcohol even if they're not in possession of it or are not drunk.
Board President Jimmie Smith said he has no problem passing an ordinance affecting juveniles, but he does not want the ordinance to include people ages 18 to 20.
Sollie said state laws are not sufficient. He said he is concerned that not including those 18 to 20 years old will give the impression to young people that it's OK to drink out in the county, but not in Meridian.
Smith proposed adopting the juvenile part of the ordinance for a year and extending it to cover people up to age 20 if problems in that age group persists.
Sollie said if those people aren't arrested, there will be no record of the problem. He said he has receives complaints about pasture and parking lot parties involving both age groups.
Smith said the ordinance would affect young people from lower income families more.
Barry said he will leave the age group section of the ordinance blank until after a public hearing can be scheduled. Supervisors will vote whether to proceed with the matter and set the hearing at their regular meeting Monday at 5 p.m.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at email@example.com.
In other matters:
On Thursday, supervisors accepted a bid from T.L. Wallace Construction of Columbia for resealing and restriping roads "A" through "N" countywide. The
company's bid came in at $978,045 lower than
Laurel-based Dunn Roadbuilders' bid of $1,122,147 and lower than the estimated project cost of $1,053,759;
Dalewood residents Raymond Huffmaster and Thomas Corn are expected to appear before the board at Monday's regular meeting to talk about the proposed Dalewood Sewer District; and
Supervisors are expected to vote Monday on whether to adopt an animal control ordinance.