What's Up With That? No Open Alcoholic Containers in Largo
If changes to a open container ordinance are approved having an open container of alcohol in a public place would be a violation.
If commissioners approve a second reading to changes to an open container ordinance then it may soon be an ordinance violation to walk around with an open can of beer. The change to Ordinance No. 2011-14 states the following:
"It shall be a violation…for any person to consume any alcoholic beverages and for any person other than a licensed salesperson or agent to carry or possess any open container at or upon any public-right-of-way."
It goes on to say that public right of ways include streets, sidewalks, alleyways and paved and unpaved parking lots or lands. Parks and other city owner property are included.
During the Jan. 18 city commission meeting the first reading of the ordinance change was presented by Lt. Mike Loux. Loux said that the changes would give law enforcement more authority to act in the evnt that an intoxicated person was walking around with an open container of alcohol. Currently they can only be charged or arrested if they are disorderly.
“There's nothing to address that [people drinking in public] unless they are disorderly or intoxicated,” Loux said, during the Jan. 18 commission meeting.
If a person is intoxicated and not causing a public disturbance then there is nothing law enforcement can do, unless the change is approved.
According to the new ordinance, people are allowed to have an open container if it is in a mechanically closed container like a cooler.
The changes to the ordinance will come before city commissioners for a second and final reading at the Feb. 2 commission meeting. This meeting is open to the public’s comments.