PHOENIX — A new court ruling said Scottsdale can’t prosecute people for
being incapacitated in public because they’re under the influence of alcohol.
The ruling issued Tuesday by the state Court of Appeals said Scottsdale’s law
is pre-empted by a state law prohibiting penalties for being intoxicated in
Scottsdale enacted the ordinance to help curb rowdy behavior in its
The latest ruling said Arizona law decriminalizes public intoxication and
treats alcoholism as a disease.
A municipal judge had ruled that a man couldn’t be prosecuted under
Scottsdale’s ordinance, but city prosecutors appealed.
A Maricopa County Superior Court judge then ruled that local laws against
intoxication aren’t barred when the offense includes being under the influence
The Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling that Scottsdale law is barred.