Eau Claire bar policy makes no sense

“Life ain’t all blueberries and paper airplanes. You know what I mean?”

No, former Bachelorette contestant Chad Johnson, who eats tons of meat, drinks too much and soils himself, and made fun of a female amputee’s arm on national television. Nobody has the slightest clue what you mean.

And that’s what we thought before reading the new city of Eau Claire ordinance proposal.

The proposal, titled the Public Good Order Ordinance, was announced a few weeks ago and includes a variety of changes, particularly related to drinking.

All of the following would allow a police officer to slap a $295 ticket into your palm:

Standing, loitering or congregating on streets or sidewalks

Annoying a person passing on streets or sidewalks

Loitering in private or public buildings

Speaking at a volume that would annoy anyone passing on streets or sidewalks

Speaking at any volume that would annoy any person in a dwelling

But it doesn’t stop with changing how loud people can speak in a public place or how much they can annoy people with their presence. Is there going to be a new annoying breathalyzer that tells the officer just how annoying you and your friends are? Half of our campus might not make it through AYCD under those rules.

The physical neighborhood disruption ticket would be given for keeping chairs, tables or tubes in yards. The policy would also prevent the accumulation of cans and bottles on any yard for a period longer than 24 hours. Half of this policy is alright because it requires the slobs next door to pick up their trash instead of letting the wind blow it onto the neighbor’s yard. Darn kids these days. Oh, and by the way, the neighbor is going to need to remove that table and chair set that they sit in to watch the children play. It disrupts the neighborhood. Sorry not sorry.

The public intoxication ticket, which is also a part of the proposed ordinance, is perhaps the most laughable of the new proposals.

If you are in Eau Claire, you may not “enter into or remain in any public (including businesses that serve alcohol) place while demonstratably under the influence.” The city defines under the influence as having bloodshot or glassy eyes, slurred speech or odor/staggering.

So, yeah, if you plan to go to the bars downtown to be served alcohol? Be careful. In the past, too many drinks may have meant friends taking care of you and puttting you in the back of a cab to take you home. With this ordinance, that free ride home might now be in the back of a police cruiser. But hey, think of all the revenue the city could earn by sweeping the bars for drunk people. They’ll have so much money they won’t know what to do with it. Maybe the city council could celebrate the extra cash with a round of drinks.

The final change would prevent shuttle or bus services from dropping off 10 or more passengers along a single block of the Historic Randall Park neighborhood/Third Ward neighborhood. The change would prevent these vehicles from picking up or dropping off riders in any location where said vehicle cannot legally park. So instead of giving public transportation, maybe more people will drink and drive. Smart.

If the city passes the ordinance as is, here is how they should explain it to those who (rightly) disagree with it.

Grab a microphone and tell them, “Life ain’t all blueberries and paper airplanes, you know what I mean?”

The explanation would make about as much sense as the ordinance.