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Sheriff seeks underage drinking ordinance

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 4, 2001
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie wants county supervisors to adopt an underage consumption ordinance similar to Meridian's.
Sollie said he sent copies of Meridian's ordinance to supervisors last month. He brought the issue up at a work session Thursday. Board attorney Rick Barry said he would review the ordinance.
Sollie said Lauderdale County deputies currently fall back on state laws. There are laws for possession and intoxication, he said, but there is no test for legal impairment unless the person is driving. Arrests for public intoxication when the offender is not driving are based on authorities' description of the offender's actions.
The ordinance would give deputies the power to detain underage alcohol consumers even if they aren't intoxicated.
Sollie also asked supervisors for some "direction for determining true speed limits" on county roads since deputies must list speed limits in accident reports.
Many Lauderdale County roads don't have posted speed limits. Sollie said supervisors amended an ordinance in October 1996 that established speed limits on all county roads at 40 mph unless otherwise designated by the board.
He questioned how deputies could determine these "otherwise designated" speed limits.
Barry said the speed limit is 40 mph unless a different speed limit is posted.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell said there are roads where several speed limits are posted. The road might have one speed limit in a heavily populated area and a different speed limit in less populated areas.
Supervisors discussed having County Engineer Neal Carson create a list of county roads and their speed limits so deputies would know designated speed limits on new roads that might not have a sign posted yet.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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