On March 20, a new rule governing alcohol sales in Orlando will have its final reading before being put into effect on May 1. The ordinance is called the “After Midnight Alcohol Sales Permit.” As the name suggests, it governs businesses that sell alcohol late at night in the city.
Why were these new rules introduced?
The ordinance is part of an ongoing effort by local lawmakers to curb crime in Orlando and make the city safer. After initially introducing the ordinance, city lawmakers met with business owners that would be impacted by the new rules. This led to some revisions of the initial proposal, including a reduction of police costs, removal of a requirement for bars and nightclubs to have metal detectors, and changes in the outcomes if someone misses the mark on the new rules.
What are the consequences of violating the ordinance?
As with laws pertaining to alcohol sales, breaking these new rules ultimately puts the permit of the business in jeopardy. However, following the consultation with business owners, Orlando lawmakers have agreed to be less punitive, and businesses may present a solution to prevent future violations to retain their permits if there is an incident. Additionally, businesses will only be held liable for violations where public safety was at risk and if they were negligent or knew they were breaking the rules.
As is usually the case when it comes to alcohol sales and related laws, public safety is at the centre of the conversation with the “After Midnight Alcohol Sales Permit” in Orlando. Business owners seemed to respond well to the city’s consultations, saying that safety was a concern they shared, especially in the late night hours. Existing bars and nightclubs in Orlando, as well as individuals looking to open one in the future, may wish to speak to a Florida lawyer about the implications of this and other legislation.