UPDATE: Council votes to allow alcohol on Station Street - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Council votes to allow alcohol on Station Street

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The Chattanooga City Council voted to allow open containers on Station Street, Tuesday night.

The final vote on the ordinance was 8-1.

Only 10 cities in the United States allow residents to consume alcohol in public. 

The alcohol laws in Tennessee vary by county, which is why Memphis allows consumers to drink on Beale Street freely. 


ORIGINAL STORY: Chattanooga City Council will be voting Tuesday to allow open containers of alcohol on Station Street.

Right now city code prohibits beer and other alcoholic beverages in certain places. If this amendment is passed, only the businesses located within or next to Station Street can sell beer and alcoholic beverages that can be distributed onto Station Street.  District 8 council member Anthony Byrd, got the idea after visiting Beale Street in Memphis, TN.

" I went down to Memphis and just enjoyed it," said Byrd. " The people and the love they have for each other and the different diverse communities coming together, so that's what we want to do. We want to try to bring as many people together as we can." 

Beale Street is the only other city in the state of Tennessee with that open container law. If passed, this change could go into effect in as early as two weeks. 

" Right now we're and I hate to say it, like we're the guinea pigs of the situation," said Byrd. 

Like Memphis, Byrd hopes to fill the area with street performers and entertainment consistent with a block party.

" It's time for Chattanooga to just keep going to those next levels and just be the place that everybody wants to be at," said Byrd. 

Byrd says the security plan and hours of operation would be up to the local businesses. The ordinance states that all beverages would have to be in an approved paper or plastic cup that has a "Station Street" logo on it.

In addition, signs will be posted giving notice to pedestrians that alcohol can not be brought in or removed from the designated area. 

Visitors we spoke with had questions about safety and security. 

" Cups are too easy to pick up. Someone really desperate would just grab someone else's out of the garbage, put a little water on it and go," said James Cook. " If you think there aren't 17-year-old drinkers who will do disgusting things to get alcohol,  you don't know teenagers." 

Byrd tells Channel 3, there will be training for local businesses responsible for security, if the amendment is passed. He added wristbands and I-D practices are expected to be in place as well. 

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