Donovan releases Directive on Enforcement of COVID-19 Executive Order

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Donovan releases Directive on Enforcement of COVID-19 Executive Order

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 2:14pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General TJ Donovan today published Attorney General’s Directive to Law Enforcement on the Enforcement of COVID-19 Emergency Order. The directive is geared toward law enforcement, including state’s attorneys, sheriffs, and police. The directive establishes that the Attorney General will bring all enforcement actions related to the COVID-19 Emergency Order and provides steps for how law enforcement should approach noncompliant businesses and individuals.

The Attorney General’s directive instructs law enforcement who encounter noncompliant businesses or individuals to provide education and request voluntary compliance. If noncompliance continues, law enforcement will report those issues and the Attorney General's Office will work with law enforcement to develop an appropriate response. The directive also clarifies the available penalties: A civil violation of up to $1,000 per violation per day and criminal violation of up to $500 fine and/or up to 6 months imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing is working with hospitality venues to come up with a way to abide with the directive while allowing for future bookings.

In part the directive says: "The Executive Order 01-20 does not authorize road closure or the establishment of roadblocks, checkpoints or the authority to demand identification. You will continue to see motor-vehicle and pedestrian traffic as Vermonters pursue permissible activities outdoors and travel to and from businesses and entities that are continuing to operate under the Order. Accordingly, the Order does NOT establish cause to initiate a motor vehicle stop. The protections in Article 11 of the Vermont Constitution and the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitutions still apply."

“I want to thank law enforcement for the incredible work they are doing to help keep us safe,” said Attorney General Donovan. “We’ve all got to do our part to protect each other, and I know Vermonters are going to do the right thing.”

A copy of the directive is available here.

Source: MONTPELIER – Vermont Attorney General’s Office 4.3.2020