Council to look at alcohol sales regulation

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 1, 2002


EDGARD – Are you thinking of going out for drinks to unwind after a long work week? You had better go before 2 a.m.

If the St. John the Baptist Parish Council passes a new ordinance regulating the sale of alcohol, residents will not be able to purchase alcohol from 2-6 a.m.

“I have received a lot of complaints from the community and the clergy,” said Councilman Dale Wolfe. “Even the sheriff talked about limiting when bars could stay open.”

Wolfe expects to present the ordinance for discussion at the Dec. 10 council meeting.

Aimed at curbing drunk driving, late-night loitering, noise and crime, the ordinance would prohibit bars and stores from selling or serving alcohol between 2-6 a.m. It would also prohibit “anyone except employees to be on the premises” (at bars) after sales stop.

Stores that sell alcohol in addition to other goods can remain open to local customers after 2 a.m. provided that they are not selling alcoholic beverages. Under the ordinance, the only exemption from the curfew hours would on holidays.

On Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July, and “any other days exempted by vote of the council or proclamation of the Parish President,” alcohol sales could continue into the morning hours, according to the ordinance.

Councilman Allen St. Pierre said, “I think people that go to the bar or out to dinner in the afternoon and stay until 2 or 3 a.m., they have already consumed too much alcohol.”

Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Clement said parish finances would not be dramatically affected by reduced hours of alcohol sales.

“We are only taking in about, for our budget, maybe $7,000 to $8,000 a year for alcoholic beverages,” Clement said.