Changes to Bremerton's open-container law rejected

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A proposed ordinance in Bremerton that would have made a second open-container violation punishable by jail has been struck down.

The Kitsap Sun reports that city legal staff found that Bremerton couldn't increase the state's open-container law for drivers to a misdemeanor. Only those not in vehicles could face the enhanced penalty if the ordinance were to be made into law, which would have been an unequal application of the law.

Police Chief Steve Strachan, who introduced the proposal, says making a second open-container violation a misdemeanor would bring alcoholics before a judge, and help them get a chance at treatment.

For now, drinking a beer in public will remain a $50 ticket no matter how many times a person gets caught.