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BATON ROUGE - Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Murphy Painter says enforcement agents from his office issued 992 citations and made 17 arrests during activities associated with the state''s Mardi Gras season.
"ATC agents were out enforcing the state''s underage drinking laws at all Mardi Gras activities in the state," Painter says." Under state law, no one under the age of 21 is allowed to possess or consume alcoholic beverages unless they are in the presence of a parent or legal guardian. Painter says about 90 percent of the citations issued by ATC agents were for drinking by underage persons. The remaining citations were issued for violations that included public drunkenness, indecent exposure, and lewd and immoral acts. Painter says possession of alcohol by an underage person is a criminal offense that is punishable by up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
New Orleans led in the number of citations with 432. In addition to the citations in New Orleans, ATC agents also made 17 arrests on charges that ranged from public drunkenness, having false identification, to possession of drugs and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Lafayette had the second highest number of citations at 208. Other municipalities and the number of citations issued in each are as follows: Metairie, 88; Houma, 82; Monroe, 56; Thibodaux, 50; Shreveport, 44; New Roads, 19; and Morgan City, 13.
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