City Council hears alcohol amendment

Published 8:06 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday night Bainbridge City Council held their regular session, where they heard an amendment to the existing alcohol ordinance.

Amanda Glover said the amendment allows for open container in the central business district. It would allow restaurants to serve customers who want to sit outside and drink in Willis Park.

She said this will help with more than just existing restaurants. Glover said there has been some growing interests in brew pubs coming to Bainbridge and this would accommodate current businesses and future businesses.

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She does point out that in the amendment the drinks would have to be in a plastic cup, no cans, bottles and there will be a two-drink maximum. The drinks could not be any larger 16 ounces. The district would include Clayton Street down to Shotwell Street and North of the Bon Aire.

Coucilman Phil Long was a little skeptical of this and questioned Glover on how they would be able to determine if someone has had one, two or even three drinks. Glover addresses this problem by having people who want to participate in drinking at Willis Park purchase a regulated cup from the specific restaurant, who will know how many drinks they have been served.

Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer also wondered how is it regulated if the person with the cup goes to another restaurant after they have had their two-cup minimum at one restaurant. Glover stated that in her research, other communities allow and hope they will go to other locations around the downtown. Although that is not a current issue with the amount of restaurants serving beer and wine in downtown now, Palmer wants to address that potential issue in the amendment.

Long also was concerned about this, especially with the potential for public drunkenness. He worries that someone may accidentally walk out of that district and have the open container. Councilwoman Glennie Bench told Long that this would not change the reasonable standard of public drunkenness no matter what district. If someone was beyond the reasonable standard, they would be arrested.

Palmer addressed the issue of someone possibly taking the cup home and bringing it back, so the restaurant may have no idea how much they have already had. Palmer said she was not against it, but just wanted to address all the bases.

Glover ended the meeting saying she would continue to look into all possible issues and amend the concerns. The amendment will be proposed again at the next regular session meeting for the Council to review.