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AN ACT IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MARCH 31, 1997
To authorize, on an emergency basis due to Congressional review, the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department to determine and declare a drug enforcement zone and to prohibit the congregation of 2 or more persons on public space on public property, for the purpose of participating in the use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs, within the perimeter of the drug enforcement zone.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Anti-Loitering/Drug Free Zone Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997".
Sec. 2. Definitions.
For the purposes of this act. the term:
(1) "Chief of Police" means the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department as the designated agent of the Mayor.
(2) "Disperse" means to depart from the designated drug free zone and not to reassemble within the drug free zone with anyone from the group ordered to depart for the duration of the zone.
(3) "Drug free zone" means public space on public property in an area not to exceed a square of 1000 feet on each side that is established pursuant to section 3.
(4) "Illegal drug" means the same as the term "controlled substance" in the District of Columbia Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1981, effective August 5, 1981 (D.C. Law 4- 29; D.C. Code §33-501).
(5) "Police Department" means the Metropolitan Police Department.
Sec. 3. Procedure for establishing a drug free zone.
(a) The Chief of Police may declare any public area a drug free zone for a period not to exceed 120 consecutive hours. The Chief of Police shall inform each of the 7 Police District Commanders and the Council of the District of Columbia of the declaration of a drug free zone.
(b) In determining whether to designate a drug free zone, the Chief of Police shall consider the following:
Sec. 4. Notice of a drug free zone.
Upon the designation of a drug free zone, the Police Department shall mark each block within the drug free zone by using barriers, tape, or police officers that post the following information in the immediate area, of, and borders around, the drug free zone:
(1) A statement that it is unlawful for a person to congregate in a group of 2 or more persons for the purposes of participating in the use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs within the boundaries of a drug free zone, and to fail to disperse after being instructed to disperse by a uniformed officer of the Police Department who reasonably believes the person is congregating for the: purpose of participating in the use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs;
(2) The boundaries of the drug free zone;
(3) A statement of the effective dates of the drug free zone designation; and
(4) Any other additional notice to inform the public of the drug free zone.
Sec. 5. Prohibition.
(a) It shall be unlawful for a person to congregate in a group of 2 or more persons in public space on public property within the perimeter of a drug free zone established pursuant to section 3 and to fail to disperse after being instructed to disperse by a uniformed officer of the Police Department who reasonably believes the person is congregating for the purpose of participating in the use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs.
(b) In making a determination that a person is congregating in a drug free zone for the purpose of participating in the use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs, the totality of the circumstances involved shall be considered. Among the circumstances which may be considered in determining whether such purpose is manifested are:
Sec. 6 Penalties.
Any person who violates section 5 shall. upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not more than $300, imprisonment for not more than 180 days, or both.
Sec. 7. Fiscal impact statement.
The Council finds that there will be a minimal fiscal impact, which the Metropolitan Police Department ("MPD") can absorb within the appropriated budget. Implementation of the drug free zones is left to the discretion of the MPD and the Council intends that the drug free zones shall be established in conjunction with the MPD's ongoing red zone program.
Sec. 8, Applicability.
This act shall apply as of March 30, 1997.
Sec. 9. Effective date.
This act shall take effect upon its enactment (approval by the Mayor, or in the event of veto by the Mayor, override of the veto by the Council, and approval by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority as provided in section 203(a) of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (109 Stat. 116; D.C. Code §47-392.3(a)), and shall remain in effect for no longer than 90 days, as provided for emergency acts of the Council of the District of Columbia in section 412(a) of the District of of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 788; D.C. Code §1-229(a)).
Charlene Drew Jarvis
APPROVED: March 19, 1997
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