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Kootenai County deputies warn Bayview bar violating 'stay-at-home' order

Earlier this week, deputies issued their first citations to people violating the "stay-at-home" order. They have received other calls of violations in North Idaho.

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho — Authorities in North Idaho say most people are abiding by the state’s “stay-at-home” order – but that doesn’t mean everyone is playing by the rules.

Deputies with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office recently responded to a call about a Bayview business violating the stay-at-home order. One lieutenant told KREM that they have visited the spot several times. 

Earlier this week, deputies busted an outdoor party near Rathdrum that upwards of two dozen people were attending.

Deputies wrote in an incident report that the people attending the party "had a flippant attitude toward the governor’s order and attempts to stop the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing.”

Some of the people in attendance were left with misdemeanor citations for breaking the state’s order, which is defined in state law.

The sheriff's office has said their goal isn't to write tickets related to the stay-at-home order, but this call was unique.

"They knew what they were doing. It was to enforce that law to get them out of there,” said KCSO Lt. Stu Miller.

Deputies added that the area was a known party spot for juveniles and some of the people in attendance had recent run-ins with the law.

RELATED: Kootenai County deputies cite teens at party for violating ‘stay-at-home’ order

Again, this call marks the only time the sheriff's office has cited people for violating the order so far. But authorities have received other calls of violations  — including those from Bayview.

“We've been up to Bayview a few times for a business up there. We've had to tell them, a couple times, and explain the governor's order to them,” Miller added.

The sheriff's office wrote on Facebook that deputies followed up with a report on Tuesday that Captain's Wheel Bar in Bayview was open and serving drinks to patrons. 

The owner told deputies she did not understand the order and thought she was allowed to serve drinks while patrons waited for their take-out orders. 

In that case, deputies just issued a warning. The sheriff's office says that goes to show that every call is different when it comes to the order and incidents are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, deputies will always attempt to educate people about the order first before issuing a citation.

"The sheriff's office isn't actively seeking violators of this order. But obviously, if people call us and tell us what's going on, we have an obligation to enforce the law,” Miller said.

The sheriff’s office says deputies have not responded to a bevy of calls related to people violating the order, as most people are complying. Authorities added that they are cautiously optimistic that social distancing efforts are paying off.

"It looks like, in my mind, when I look at the statistics and such – as far as our county goes, it looks like it's actually working,” Miller said.

RELATED: 'Misguided and dangerous': Bonner County health care workers respond to sheriff's 'stay-at-home' comments

RELATED: Ammon Bundy, who led Oregon standoff, holds gatherings amid Idaho 'stay home' order

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