New Ordinance Gives Heavy Penalty to Public Drinkers

Valdosta, Ga. - September 19, 2012

The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners is looking to crack down on brown bagging. That's when people bring their own alcohol to parking lots or other public places and drink it.

Sid Williams owns Cuz's Sports Bar. He said "they made the law now we just got to abide by it... Don't be out in the parking lot drinking!"

A brown-bag ordinance passed by the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners has been in effect since September 11th. It means if you're bringing your own alcohol to a public place and drinking it.. you're breaking the law. Without any ability to regulate how intoxicated someone gets the safety hazards of 'brown bagging' are very real.

The Lowndes County Clerk, Paige Dukes, said "if a local business was to over serve someone and then allow them to drive then that establishment could be facing a tremendous liability as well as the hazard to public safety."

Those consequences aren't there with brown bagging.. which, in part, led to the ordinance being passed. If you're caught you can be fined up to one thousand dollars and get six months in jail. Local business owners seem to welcome the decision.

Williams went on to say "we aint going to have any more parking lot drinking, it's probably going to help me out a little bit cause they aint running out to their car cause if they do they might get caught."

Despite the crackdown, what you do behind closed doors is still your business.

Dukes also said "brown bagging does not affect a private party that you might have in your home."

Brown bagging does affect a charitable or special event if it is in public. The area has to be clear of alcohol by 1:55AM.

TO FIND OUT WHAT QUALIFIES AS A CHARITABLE OR SPECIAL EVENT CALL THE LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AT (229) 671 2400


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