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Violators of emergency orders due to coronavirus in Louisiana could face arrest, fines

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana law enforcement agencies have issued a statement to advise the public that they will be enforcing restrictions on gatherings and businesses as invoked by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Edward’s order signed Monday required bars, gyms and movie theaters to close and limited restaurants to delivery and takeout. It also limited gatherings to 50 people.

Under state law, the agencies note, violations of these restrictions can result in criminal charges that come with penalties of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $500:

In the event of an emergency declared by the governor pursuant to this Chapter, any person or representative of any firm, partnership, or corporation violating any order, rule, or regulation promulgated pursuant to this Chapter, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or confined in the parish jail for not more than six months, or both. No executive order, proclamation, or regulation shall create or define a crime or fix penalties.

La. R.S. 29:724(E)

According to the joint statement released by Louisiana State Police, The Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office, Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, and Louisiana Chiefs Association of Police:

Louisiana State Law (RS 29:724) gives the Governor authority to set restrictions on gatherings and businesses in the interest of public safety and to prevent spread of COVID-19. These proclamations and declarations have the power of law.

As such, local, parish, and state law enforcement agencies as well as other state authorities including ATC and the State Fire Marshal, will be acting to enforce these rules set by the Governor.

Violations of gathering capacity and business hour restrictions may result in revocation of licenses and/or citations for violating the executive order under La. R.S. 29:724(E), Disturbing the Peace, or other appropriate violations of law.

Louisiana Law Enforcement Statement on COVID-19 Emergency Proclamation Restrictions

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