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Changes For Bonnaroo Fans Cited By Authorities

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Posted at 6:30 PM, Jun 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:22:14-04

MANCHESTER, Tenn. - Bonnaroo fans who receive a citation in Coffee County will no longer be able to pay a simple fine and be done with their legal trouble; instead court will be the only way to settle their brush with the law.

Officials said hundreds of citations were handed out during last year's festival, most of them drug related and most were issued to fans from out of town.

In years past, the Coffee County District Attorney would allow certain offenders to pay an inflated fine to avoid having to drive back hundreds of miles for a brief court appearance, but that will no longer be the case.

"Being at Bonnaroo is not going to be a mitigating factor," said Coffee County District Attorney Craig Northcott, who was elected in September.

Northcott isn't the new Sheriff in town, he is however the new district attorney and under his watch anyone now issued a citation at Bonnaroo will have to appear in court. Whether they're from Coffee County or Connecticut, festival goers will no longer be able to pay their way out of court when they get in trouble.

"When I took a look at the situation I did not believe it was appropriate. I thought it smelled of justice being for sale, I thought everyone ought to be held accountable for their actions," he added.

Last year, Coffee County collected more than a half million dollars in fines from citations issued during Bonnaroo.

There is some concern though that making offenders serve additional jail time will tax the county's jail already limited for space.