ACLU says Anchorage restriction on alcohol sales illegal

The ACLU of Alaska is saying last month’s city proposal to prevent three-time users of Anchorage’s emergency sobering center from buying alcohol is illegal under state law. The group maintains that it would violate privacy by sharing confidential records with liquor stores.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports the ACLU sent a letter to Anchorage Assembly members Wednesday, saying that barring people who were admitted to the Anchorage Safety Center could make the city less safe, because people won’t be willing to go the safety center at all.

Backers of the proposal say it would push more people to get sober.

The ACLU says the ban would be illegal under Title 47, a law that essentially directs the state to treat public alcoholism as a disease and not a crime.