As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “How do people get away with public intoxication near campus? Does UNLPD have an agreement with UNL?”
Marty Fehringer, assistant chief of police of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department, said there is no law against public intoxication. Nebraska decriminalized public intoxication in 1979.
The protocol for public intoxication is if an intoxicated person is a danger to themselves, then UNLPD officers can take them to a detox center, like The Bridge Behavioral Health, according to Fehringer. He said this decriminalizes what could be an alcohol problem.
When an individual is taken to The Bridge to detox, they are looked after by a medical professional. They are able to call someone to come and get them, and anyone who comes to get the individual does not have to pay to get them out of the detox center, according to Fehringer.
If the individual is a minor, they can be charged with minor in possession of alcohol, according to Fehringer. If someone is publicly intoxicated and disturbing the peace or committing other crimes like vandalism, then Fehringer said UNLPD will get involved and charges could be made.
In regard to UNLPD having an agreement with UNL, if a UNL student is in violation of the code of conduct, then UNLPD refers the student to Student Conduct & Community Standards, according to Fehringer.