Clovis Bar Ordinance Passed City Council

April 14, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Clovis City Council is taking a two pronged approach to making the streets safer. The goal is to get a handle on people who are chronically drunk in public, and to get bar owners to help them do it.The Clovis City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that will hold bar owners responsible for cleaning up their bars inside and outside. The new entertainment ordinance requires bar owners to cut off intoxicated customers and make sure their properties are closed and emptied by 2 a.m. They're also responsible for the area within one hundred feet of their facility.

Supporters claim it will help cut down on public drunkenness, fights, and human waste in the streets. But one business owner who spoke at the meeting said he felt it put an unfair burden on bar-owners.

The council also gave initial approval to another ordinance that will require owners of bars and liquor stores to deny alcohol to anyone considered a "habitual drunkard." It's already a state law, but city officials say the term has not been defined, which makes it difficult to enforce. So, the city is considering defining it as anyone who has been arrested for public intoxication more than 3 times in a six month period or anyone designated by the court to be a habitual drunkard.

If it passes, police will provide pictures of those people to bar and liquor store owners. "By using this ordinance, we can cut them off from the source of alcohol, which will obviously resolve the problem. It's not a perfect solution, but it is a potential solution," said Captain Drew Bessinger with the Clovis Police Department.

The manager of one local bar told the council tonight that she already has a list of people to avoid serving based on past problems, and she doesn't feel an ordinance is necessary.

If the ordinance does pass, anyone who sells to a habitual drunkard can be charged with a misdemeanor. The final vote on this second ordinance is set for next Monday.


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