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Carrollton’s new alcohol ordinance passes first big test


Carrollton’s new alcohol ordinance passes first big test
by Winston Jones/Times-Georgian
Carrollton held its first major event Saturday night since the city’s new open container alcoholic beverage law went into effect, and City Manager Casey Coleman said it went well.

“I was very happy,” Coleman said. “I got there long before the concert started and stayed over afterwards. There were zero problems.”

The event was an Alabama Blues Brothers concert, the first in a series of four free summer concerts at The Amp on Adamson Square, the city’s new outdoor amphitheater on Bradley Street. A free movie is scheduled at the amphitheater tonight.

“I talked with people early on and throughout the event and everybody seemed very pleased with the whole thing,” Coleman said.

Jessica Reynolds, whose Carrollton Main Street organization sponsored Saturday’s show, expressed a similar opinion.

“Everybody was respectful of everybody else and we didn’t have any issues at the event,” Reynolds said.

Carrollton Police Chief Joel Richards said he attended the event with his 13-year-old daughter and had a great time.

“We had two officers working the event and there were no arrests or incidents,” Richards said. “It was a great crowd.”

Frank Smith, a bar manager at Plates on the Square, a restaurant near the amphitheater, said the law has worked well for his business.

“We’re serving drinks in plastic cups now, but we’re working on ordering cups which will have our logo,” Smith said. “We’re also looking at a wrist band system for security.”

Margaret Adams, manager at Horton’s Books, said she saw a few cups and trash left over on the square, but community service crews cleaned them up early in the morning.

“It hasn’t really been any different here since the law went into effect,” Adams said.

The Carrollton City Council on June 4 approved two amendments to its alcoholic beverage ordinance. One amendment allows people to carry drinks they have purchased at downtown businesses anywhere in the downtown business area. The second amendment gives the city manager authority to issue special-use permits for organizations to serve alcoholic beverages on city property, such as the amphitheater or city parks.

“What I’m proposing is for people of legal age, if you legally purchase the alcohol, that you be allowed to go from place to place, with the drink in a solo cup,” Coleman said at the June 4 council meeting. “If it’s a Styrofoam cup, with an Irish Pub logo on it, it’s even better, because it shows it was legally purchased there. You can’t sit on the square and bring your cooler and knock down two dozen beers. This is not Savannah, New Orleans or Las Vegas.”

Coleman said the merchants and their customers wanted the new law and he felt people would use common sense.

Speaking on the special use permits, he said the city has been issuing such permits for the Cultural Arts Center and the WPA Building already and there have been no problems.

“This is because a lot of companies like to have gala events and supply their own drinks,” Coleman said. “There’s a cost and there’s rules they have to follow. They’re responsible for making sure people drinking are of legal age and they can’t sell the alcoholic beverages.”

Read more:Times-Georgian – Carrollton s new alcohol ordinance passes first big test

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