As part of their ongoing efforts to save us the trouble of stepping over drunks on the sidewalk, San Francisco Police plan to implement a new policy that will lock up the city's most pickled residents while they have a chance to dry out.
Under the new Serial Inebriate Program (or "SIP," get it?) anyone cited for drunk in public five times in a month will receive a misdemeanor charge — a heftier charge than the infraction and court summons than drunks currently get and routinely piss away. The misdemeanor charge means drunkards will go to lockup until they can either post bail or get a jury trial, which can take up to thirty days. They will also have the option to enter a residential treatment facility.
As C. W. Nevius, the Chronicle's resident Sixth Street watchdog, reports Chief Greg Suhr expects the SIP program to be up and running by May 1st of this year. Meanwhile, Mayor Lee and
Homeless Czar Director of HOPE Bevan Dufty are both excited by the idea — Lee because he's trying to clean up the city and Dufty because he's still looking for an excuse to try out those wet houses where homeless drunks can partake in peace.
Likewise, District Attorney Gascón is also on board, but he expressed some reservations about clogging up the courts with too many jury trials. Down in San Diego, where they've been running a program like this since 2000, a police spokesman said it actually led to fewer cases going to a jury once offenders figured out the police weren't messing around.