Openly drinking alcoholic beverages is just one of the quality of life issues Huntington Town officials will discuss as they consider tightening public nuisance and open container laws at upcoming public hearings.
Town board member Mark Cuthbertson said he has received complaints about people drinking in the streets in violation of town code.
“I was asked to look into some quality of life offenses that were not being sufficiently addressed, and we’re able to make some changes,” he said.
If approved, there would be a sliding scale of fines for people found to be in violation of the open container laws. A person found guilty for a first offense would be fined $25 to $100; a conviction for a second offense within five years of the first conviction would result in a fine between $100 and $250; and a third conviction or subsequent offense within five years of the first and second conviction would result in a fine between $250 and $500, imprisonment up to 10 days, or both.
James McGoldrick, a Huntington Station resident, said there are issues throughout the town but his main concern is by the train station and the “five corners” area by Depot Road.
“The issue with the open containers must be dealt with,” McGoldrick said. “My issue is it’s going on in the middle of the day, children are getting off school buses and being exposed to this type of behavior. It’s not right.”
For repeat violators of the public nuisance law, the “look back” period would go from one to three years, so if there has been an offense within three years it would be treated more harshly.
Cuthbertson said town officials, unhappy with the section of town code that deals with urinating and defecating in the street, will tighten that as well.
Violations of public urination and defecation, currently under the sewer waste management code, will be placed in the public nuisance chapter, Cuthbertson said.
The public hearings are set for March 14 at 2 p.m. during the regular monthly town meeting at Town Hall, 100 Main St.