ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Soon enough, the age-old restrictions on drinking alcohol on the boardwalks and beaches in Atlantic City could become a thing of the past. As Atlantic City inches towards an eventual reopening of the casino industry for the busy summer season, there’s been a gradual uptick in visitors, many have no problem with a change in the liquor laws.
“As long as you’re respectable, decent, don’t act too crazy to be responsible, I don’t see a problem with it,” said Chad Bean, a resident of Atlantic City.
The Mayor of Atlantic City Marty Small was already in support of it and now has the power to put it into action.
“When I was on the council, I was in favor of it and now as the mayor, I’m in favor of it of getting rid of open container laws,” explained Mayor Small.
For some, they believe that it will be able to help the local businesses that have been shut down due to the coronavirus and help them start to get back on their feet, but for others, they are hesitant.
“I have mixed emotions. If people can drink responsibly, I’m sure there are few people who can drink like that, I have no problem with it,” said Bob Willman, another Atlantic City resident.
City officials have been in talks with the local police over easing restrictions on public alcohol consumption. For Sgt. Kevin Fair of the Atlantic City Police department, there are some things to keep in mind.
“It’s not where you can bring a 30-pack on the boardwalk. It’s going to be businesses and restaurants and stores that sell alcohol on the boardwalk,” reminds Sgt. Fair
Beach bars already have created fenced-in area for having a beer or a cocktail. But under the new rules, you wouldn’t get a fine or a ticket for strolling on the boards or the beach with something in hand.
“But to walk up and down the boardwalk and have drinks everywhere, being spilled and people do crazy things happening without that rule in effect. It’s got to be monitored as well,” says Paul Smith, a resident of A.C.
Some have questioned whether allowing open alcohol consumption on the beaches may bring an added danger but Sgt. Fair is already working on that.
“We have our Atlantic City beach patrol on every block and they find an issue, I’ll call the police department. We will come and enforce any action that needs to be taken.”
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