Lincoln County D.A. Bayne-Allison explains Safer at Home order enforcement, violation punishments
FOR THE TOMAHAWK LEADER
LINCOLN COUNTY – Lincoln County Attorney Galen Bayne-Allison released a statement on Wednesday, March 25 outlining the enforcement of the Department of Health (DHS)’s Safer at Home Order (Emergency Order #12), which requires all individuals present in the State of Wisconsin to stay at home or at their place of residence with the exceptions of essential activities and travel, government functions, operations of essential businesses, and other extraordinary situations. He also explained potential punishments for violating the order.
“Emergency Order #12 was made in addition to the Governor’s Executive Order #72 declaring the present public health emergency,” Bayne-Allison said in the statement. “The Orders were made for the safety and in the best interests of the public in order to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus so that our health care system will not be more overwhelmed.”
Bayne-Allison stated the declaration of a public health emergency authorizes local law enforcement to enforce Emergency Order #12.
“Wisconsin Statutes section 252.25 provides that any person who willfully violates or obstructs the execution of any state statute or rule, county, city, or village ordinance or departmental order under this chapter and relating to the public health, for which no other penalty is prescribed, shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days or fined not more than $500 or both,” he explained. “The Public Health Officer may decide to quarantine the offender and officers may detain violators of public health orders.”
The District Attorney said the goal of the statute is to “foster voluntary compliance with public health orders and in turn mitigate against the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus during the public health emergency.”
“Local law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office are committed to supporting the recommendations of our public health officials and maintaining the rule of law in our community. We hope that everyone in our community will voluntarily follow the public health orders and enforcement will not be required,” he stated.
Bayne-Allison said that if law enforcement is presented with a violation by a business or an individual, law enforcement’s evaluation of the necessity of arrest will be guided by the recommendations of public health officials and the risk to the public created by the offender’s actions.
“Lincoln County law enforcement and the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office stand ready to assist our community as we work together to minimize the spread of this virus,” Bayne-Allison said.