Montgomery putting cap on open-carry hours in 3 entertainment di - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Montgomery putting cap on open-carry hours in 3 entertainment districts

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Entertainment districts are designed for fun, but not too much fun, according to the city of Montgomery. City leaders want to make sure the law that allows you to walk around with an alcoholic drink in your hand doesn't get out of hand.

City leaders are doing that by putting a "cap" on the number of hours each day the open container ordinance is in effect. The law only applies to the city's three entertainment districts, two are located in Cloverdale and one is downtown.

You can call it preventive medicine for some of the city's growing pains. As of September 1, the new rules apply to the entertainment districts.

The whole concept of an entertainment district, areas where you can walk with an open container of alcohol, is relatively new to the capital city. It quickly become very popular, though.

Now, you can leave one place with a "to-go" plastic cup, but you can't take that drink into another establishment. Under the old ordinance you could walk around with a drink in your hand until 2 a.m.. With the ordinance that passed Wednesday night, those hours have now been cut and will run from 9 a.m. until midnight.

Most weeknights are pretty tame in downtown Montgomery, but on the weekends it can be another story. There is a noticeable police presence. MPD has even brought in a expanding observation tower to keep a lid on a hot spot where there are lots of people drinking outside and to have a bird's eye view on possible underage drinking.

The city will have to decide just how it will police the new ordinance. For instance, can patrons at the Aviator Bar stand outside with a drink after midnight?

The new hours don't apply to patrons "inside" businesses.

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