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Councilman Freel offers new liquor ordinance amendment—gets thumbs up


Councilman Steve Freel recommended new changes to the proposed liquor ordinance at the Tuesday, Feb. 12 City Council meeting.

Council has been considering changing the liquor ordinance to make it a crime to overserve already intoxicated persons.

Freel suggested that Council take out the over-serving aspect of the ordinance and replace it with language mandating that liquor establishments provide training to servers within 90 days of their employment.

After making some additions to Freel’s proposal, Council approved the amendment. They asked City Attorney John Henley to draft the changes for Council to consider at their Feb. 19 meeting.

An additional change would outline consequences for establishments found to be in violation of the new training requirement.

Freel told the Council he thought it should focus on training rather than going ahead with the version of the ordinance that would criminalize over-serving.

“My biggest fear is we’re going from crawling to running and we’re not even learning to walk in the middle,” he said before presenting his proposal. “I think the over-serving needs to go.”

Freel’s amendment will be included when Council holds its Feb. 19 meeting.

Councilman Walsh suggested that Council also draft a resolution stating that if establishments don’t seem to show compliance with the new ordinance, Council would go back and consider adding in the over-serving language. The other Council members agreed to Walsh’s proposal.