LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - To-go cups aren't a done deal in Long Beach just yet, but city leaders took a big step towards allowing them at Tuesday's Board of Alderman meeting.
The board agreed to draft an ordinance that would allow people to walk around a designated entertainment district with an alcoholic drink in hand. The ordinance is expected to be voted on at the next meeting on June 21.
Ward 4 Alderman Ronnie Hammons said he thinks the measure has a specific way of helping business that serve alcohol.
"I understand from the businesses point of view that if somebody goes in "On a Roll Sushi" and has a beer and wants to step outside and watch the parade a little bit, the ABC can bust them for that if they're not within a designated area," said Hammons. "It's mainly to try and help them."
In order to implement the to-go cup law, the geographic boundaries where the entertainment district will be located will have to be defined on a map. That area will center around Jeff Davis Avenue.
The city will have to provide a list of businesses that hold permits to sell alcohol. Also, the police have to come up with a plan of how they'll respond, something Police Chief Wayne McDowell is prepared for.
"As far as the state law dictates that the police department gives guidelines in with the ordinance of what we will do in that area," said McDowell. "Some of that is going to be doing extra patrols and having some foot patrols in the area."
McDowell added he doesn't anticipate the to-go cup law to create any additional problems for his department.
The state allows cities to implement the law starting on July 1, but in Long Beach the earliest we could see to-go cups would be late July. The law can't go into effect until 30 days after the ordinance is approved. The earliest the board can vote on it, is on June 21.