Englewood, Colorado Mandates Masks For All; Violators Could Get Year in Jail

According to the order, the maximum penalty is a fine of up to $2,650, 365 days behind bars or both.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

July 10, 20202 min read

Doctor mask
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Think things are strict in Teton County? Try Englewood, Colorado.

The city is mandating people wear masks while out in the public starting today (Friday) with few exceptions.

The town has received a lot of national publicity — including a prominent Drudge link — over the requirement because of the possible penalty for violators.

According to the order, the maximum penalty is a fine of up to $2,650, 365 days behind bars or both.

“Any person charged with an offense under this Emergency Order may choose to enter a plea of not guilty and be entitled to a trial as authorized by the law,” the order reads.

Perhaps because of the national attention, the town of Englewood on Thursday tried to temper the reaction with a Facebook post which sought to clarify the ordinance.

“As a point of clarification, enforcement of the City’s emergency masking ordinance will begin, first and foremost, with education and a warning,” the post reads.

“While the emergency order includes boilerplate language referencing other penalties, this language is part of EVERY Englewood ordinance that includes any form of enforcement so that any defendant violating an ordinance will know the maximum penalty the judge might impose should he/she choose to go to trial,” it reads.

In other words, you aren’t likely to go to jail for a year if you don’t wear a mask.

After all, the first violation — if you are cited — is $15. The second violation will cost you $25. Going to jail for a year for strike three would be one heck of a jump.

How many violations it will take before you are thrown in the slammer is unknown. The goal is not to hand out tickets, the city said.

“The goal is not to issue citations, it is to educate people so they will understand their responsibility to protect their neighbors from this virus by wearing a face covering when inside public spaces so Englewood can continue reopening and moving past this health crisis,” the city said.

What does it mean if you visit Englewood? According to the city’s order, all members of the public must wear face masks that cover both their nose and mouth while in any retail, commercial, or government offices along with all health care facilities, including veterinary offices.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter