Duluth Passes Open Container Ordinance

DULUTH, Ga. — In a tough economy, the Duluth City Council believes it has found a way to revitalize its historic downtown. Council members voted Monday night to approve a new alcohol ordinance that will allow visitors to stroll from one business to the next with an open container of alcohol.

The City Council gave the green light to a new open container law, but it only allows visitors to carry an alcoholic beverage during about a dozen city-approved special events.

Many residents told Channel 2 Action News that they hope the new law will be a shot in the arm for the downtown area, attracting more people and possibly more new businesses.

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Police said it will be more work for them as they increase security for crowd control and close some roads.

"We're actually (going to) block the roadway off. It's not like we're (going to) have people walking down the sidewalks and then across the streets drinking alcohol," said Chief Randy Belcher of the Duluth Police Department.

"I think we need all the help we can get to revitalize our downtown," said resident Lawrence Graves.

The ordinance had been discussed for months, but no one spoke out against it Monday night.

The first city-approved event will be New Year's Eve.