Gov. DeWine clarifies enforcement, reporting of stay-at-home order violations

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Posted at 4:03 PM, Mar 23, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided more details on the stay-at-home order set to take effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday, including how it will be enforced by local law enforcement, and how violations of the order should be reported.

“We would not have issued this if it was not a matter of life and death,” DeWine said of the order, which prohibits Ohio residents from leaving the home and Ohio businesses from operating for all but essential reasons.

RELATED: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Dr. Amy Acton issue 'Stay at Home' order for all of Ohio

DeWine said that he had a conference call with sheriff’s offices around the state Sunday night, and will have a conference call Monday night with chiefs of police to discuss his suggestions for how local agencies enforce this order.

"We don’t want a lot of arrests or citations,” DeWine said, but explained that this order can be enforced by local health departments and law enforcement., but at this time, not the Ohio National Guard.

If there is a violation, DeWine said he hopes the officers and deputies will talk to whomever is involved, first give them a warning, and then decide from there how to react. But violations of the order could lead to citations, DeWine said.

“The law is an instructor and a deterrent,” DeWine said. “You hope the law doesn’t have to be applied very often.”

DeWine added that restaurants and bars could lose their liquor licenses if they continue operating in ways that violate his orders. He said they should all read the order and use common sense.

"Would you have a rationale for why you're an essential business?” DeWine said. “Would you be able to prove you're following safety guidelines?”

RELATED: Is my business 'essential' under Gov. DeWine's stay at home order?

DeWine discouraged residents from calling 911 to report unsafe business practices or other violations of the orders. Instead, he said residents should contact the business’ human resources department or their local health department to report violations of the stay-at-home order.

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