Proposed Ordinance Hopes To Cut Down On Underage Drinking
On Monday afternoon, city commissioners approved a proposal that will make each bar within city limits age 21 and up, but bars can apply for an entertainment permit to admit 18 to 20 year olds. Under the proposal, the city will keep track of public safety violations, like serving minors too often, and repeat offenders can lose their permit.
Four nights a week, Rue Bar in downtown Gainesville opens it doors to everyone 18 and up, and bar owner Mike Nabers says they make a lot of their money from the seven dollar cover charge that each underage patron has to pay.
"Gainesville does have a lot of underage people," said Nabers.
Gainesville City Commissioner Jeanna Mastrodicasa says the idea is to cut down on underage drinking by making the bars be more responsible.
But, Nabers says all it is going to do is encourage the underage drinkers to party at house parties more.
"They're drinking at houses or on patios, and you have residents calling for noise violations," said Nabers.
The city attorney will now draft up the official ordinance, which city commissioners will have to approve twice before it will officially go into effect. Mastrodicasa says that may take up to a year to happen. Under the proposal, bars with an entertainment permit can also apply for special permission to have all ages nights for concerts and similar type events.
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