Banning Alcohol in Chisasibi

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What started out as a tailing pond bursting due to abnormally heavy precipitation in the beginning of the summer has evolved into an ongoing saga of head-butting, improper testing and, finally the bad news, that it ain’t over yet.

Though a bylaw has already been in place in the community since the ’80s, under the old regulations community residents were permitted to have a certain quantity of alcohol in their homes.

Though the bylaw is mainly geared at curbing bootlegging, first offenders under the amended bylaw could be fined up to $500 for behaviour such as public drunkenness, causing disturbances while drunk, indulging in habitual drunkenness in the home of a child, and selling alcohol without a permit.

Drunk driving offences, purchasing alcoholic beverages for a minor, consuming alcohol in an off-highway vehicle, a trailer being towed or while operating an all-terrain vehicle could also be considered first-time violations.

Those violating the bylaw for a second time could face a $1000 fine and a six-month prison term. A third violation could lead to a similar jail term, a $2000 fine and the loss of Cree Nation of Chisasibi-owned housing.

The offenses for the sale, transfer, exchange or manufacture of alcohol will now garner heavier fines and similar penalties, while those who administer or cause minors to consume alcohol under numerous offenses could see eventual banishment from the community.

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