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Court overturns Scottsdale public-intoxication law

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 public.

Scottsdale enacted the ordinance to help curb rowdy behavior in its entertainment district.

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 of alcohol.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling that Scottsdale law is barred.

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