Oregon legislators and staff members should not be drunk while performing their official duties, a citizen panel says.
The Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature adopted that recommendation Monday, although the panel decided to leave it to House and Senate leaders to draft rules against intoxication and possible penalties.
"We were uncomfortable acting as a nanny," said Kerry Tymchuk, a commission member and state director for U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore.
The new policy was suggested by Steve Doell, president of Crime Victims United, who said he and another member of the group noticed alcohol on the breath of at least one legislator at the end of the 2005 session while they were advocating tougher drunken-driving penalties.
Doell declined to identify the legislator.
Neither Senate nor House rules deal with possession or consumption of alcohol by legislators and staff members. Alcohol is barred from most state buildings, but it can be served at Capitol functions with written approval of the legislative administrator and under certain conditions.