DA’s office addresses Safer at Home order enforcement
“On the afternoon of Wednesday, March 25, the office of Lincoln County District Attorney Galen Bayne-Allison released the following statement regarding provisions of the Safer at Home order issued by Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday, and subsequent enforcement of those provisions, if violated.
On March 24, 2020, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services issued Emergency Order #12, the Safer at Home Order, 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. Emergency Order #12 was made in addition to the Governor’s Executive Order #72 declaring the present public health emergency. 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. 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. The Public Health Officer may decide to quarantine the offender and officers may detain violators of public health orders.
“The goal of this 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. If local 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.”