No mixed drinks outside restaurants but bottles a possibility

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2014

If you want to have an adult beverage outside on Front Street, you will have to settle for beer or wine.

Anything stronger is prohibited by state law from being served outside.

That is what Georgetown City Council has been told in reference to a request for information made by Council member Carol Jayroe.

She had asked city staff to see if it was possible to amend the city ordinance so sidewalk patrons would be able to consume other alcoholic beverages other than beer and wine.

City Police Chief Paul Gardner told Jayroe and the rest of council the city law is in accordance with the state law.

“Mixed drinks are prohibited by state law,” Gardner said.

“Our police have more important things to do than enforce ABC laws,” said Mayor Jack Scoville added.

Councilman Brendon Barber responded to that comment.

“Brendon Barber will uphold the state law and will hold the chief responsible if he does not enforce the state law. There is no flexibility when it comes to state law,” he said.

Council also discussed another request made by Jayroe. She wanted to know if glass bottles and cups as well as glass plates could be served on outside tables.

Currently only plastic cups and plates are allowed. Beer bottles are prohibited.

Gardner said there is no state law banning glass from being served outside. He said that was a city regulation created as a risk management decision.

He said when police see glass being served outdoors, the restaurant management is given a reminder about the ordinance.

“We are not promoting circumventing state law (in regards to glass),” Gardner said. “It is a liability issue.”

Jayroe reminded council restaurant owners have insurance policies in the amount of at least $1 million in case of accidents.

Barber said if a city ordinance is not enforced and someone gets hurt by broken glass, the city can be held responsible in court.

Scoville said staff will research the liability concerns and bring a recommendation to council for a vote at an upcoming meeting.

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