Police issued just under 150 citations for underage drinking, and ambulance calls were up 39% during Oktoberfest weekend.
According to a preliminary tally, La Crosse Police Department issued 146 underage drinking tickets and 26 citations for public consumption of alcohol. Officers also issued 21 public urination citations, 15 disorderly conduct and 18 noise citations, most of which were near the campus area and downtown.
Final numbers aren’t available yet as reports are being processed.
Fines depended on the offenses, ranging from $127 for public consumption to $187 for obstruction of a police officer, from $137 for indecent behavior to $250 for underage alcohol possession or drinking for the first offense, increasing if the person had previous offenses.
Most cases involved police on foot patrol who stopped people carrying open containers and/or showing obvious signs of inebriation, and many also had backpacks or other containers of beer or other intoxicating beverages. Those ticketed were required to pour out the alcohol and released.
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Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance requests from 6 a.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Sunday went up 39% — to 201 from 145 in 2018. There were 19% more calls than a typical September weekend.
There were 147 total emergency requests in the city of La Crosse, up from the 102 counted last year. Thirty percent of all weekend patients were between 18 and 30 years old, which typically account for fewer than 10% of patients, according to Tri-State.
The ambulance service estimated 30% of all weekend calls were alcohol-related and 50% in the city of La Crosse were alcohol-related.
On a positive note, the Tri-State Ambulance bike teams had a three-minute response time to the majority of requests.
The ambulance service estimated 30% of all weekend calls were alcohol-related and 50% in the city of
La Crosse were alcohol-related.