New alcohol ordinance in the works

Macy Holloway

This past Wednesday, Sept. 3, at a City Council Meeting, Statesboro Mayor Jan Moore was prompted to suggest changes to the current Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance.

Moore’s suggested amendment would grant the city manager the capability to revoke a businesses alcoholic beverage license in the interest of public safety. The public safety director and mayor would each need to consent.

“The point of the amendment is to try to beef up the public safety aspect of the ordinance and to allow emergency suspension of a license if need be,” Mayor Moore said. “It is subject to a public hearing three days later, and there are a couple of other things in there mostly just related to being public safety oriented.”

Her suggested amendment also states that the business must take responsibility for maintaining order inside as well as outside of their building in the surrounding areas.

“It is very important that you are able to stop a situation if it needs to be stopped, so that you can assess if it is okay for that particular establishment to continue to serve alcohol,” Mayor Moore said.

The current ordinance mandates that the city does not have the power to shut down a business shy of multiple offenses in addition to several steps that must be taken.

Mayor Moore said, “We’re looking at mainly giving the city the ability to say stop, lets see what’s going on and what needs to be fixed. Right now we’re unable to do that regardless of what it is or where it is.”

There is a replacement ordinance scheduled to take effect July 1, 2015.

“It is a very big ordinance with a lot of tenants to it but this is strictly about public safety. It’ll be up to city council as to whether or not they want to entertain that amendment,” Mayor Moore said.