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updated: 7/26/2011 2:36 PM

New West Dundee laws target public drinking, motorized vehicles

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West Dundee has two new laws in place meant to keep unregistered motorized vehicles off the village's roads and keep residents from opening alcohol in public.

The laws, approved last week, are effective now and make enforcement much easier for police, Police Chief Andy Wieteska said.

State law already bans unregistered motorized vehicles, such as scooters, bikes, skateboards and mini motorcycles, from the roads and the sidewalks.

But police have received "numerous" complaints over the years about teenagers weaving in and out of traffic on them, and of them getting in pedestrians' way on the village sidewalks. While, mini motorcycles are particularly dangerous because they reach speeds of up to 40 and 50 mph, a majority of complaints have centered on the scooters, Wieteska said.

The new law limits the vehicles to private property. An initial offense will cost $25 and the ordinance allows police to cite driver or the parent/guardian who bought the vehicle in question. Motorized wheelchairs and other electric personal assistance mobility devices are exempt for the new law.

"We just want to educate the public on the danger of these scooters and pocket bikes," Wieteska said. "Obviously kids, they don't know the rules of the road, which in itself could be dangerous and it becomes a safety issue at that point."

Another new law could lead to a $50 fine for anyone opening alcohol on public property.

West Dundee did not previously have a specific law on the books that dealt with this. Village ordinances only addressed disorderly conduct for public intoxication, but police had to catch people in the act of drinking to issue a citation.

Now, just opening a bottle of alcohol on public property will be enough.

"I would not say it's a huge problem, but it's significant enough during special events in the downtown area," Wieteska said.

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