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"The Oswego Village Board is considering whether to issue tickets, rather than handcuffs, for some first-time misdemeanor offenders.

At a recent Committee of the Whole meeting, the police department proposed an ordinance that would allow officers to issue tickets for possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of alcohol by a minor, and consumption of alcohol by a minor.

“I want everybody to realize this is still a sanction,” said Acting Chief Nick Sikora. “This is not getting off with nothing.”

The department has proposed that the penalties would include a $250 fine — in line with the fine for a Class 4 misdemeanor — and a hearing at Village Hall.

The headache of breaking up large parties of underage drinkers prompted a review of the policy."

As the owner of an alcohol awareeness and drug education program, I would like to also add that counties that consider fines in lue of jail time or probation should make mandatory Minor in Possession classes for those arrested for these infractions.  It will not only help educate teens and young adults but also address a serious issue of prevention.