|Roger W. Fields, Interim Chief of Police
Cape Girardeau City Council
Amending the City Code relating to alcoholic beverages.
Amending the City Code relating to alcoholic beverages to include a new section relating to the restriction of underaged individuals to enter in or enter upon the premises of an establishment that sells intoxicating liquor.
On September 7, 2012, Police staff met with Southeast Missouri State University Department of Public Safety officers to discuss alcohol enforcement efforts. A plan was devised to increase focus on alcohol-related violations, specifically underage consumption. Since September 7, 2012, the Cape Girardeau Police Department has conducted compliance checks, server training, and agressive patrol specifically targeting minors in possession of alcohol as well as loud parties.
At the October 1 City Council Study Session, representatives from the University requested that the City Council consider an ordinance restricting underage individuals from entering in or upon the premises of an establishments that sells intoxicating liquor and addressed several other issues of concern. Following the meeting, City Attorney Eric Cunningham worked with Al Spradling, Attorney and Chair of the Board of Regents for Southeast, to draft an ordinance addressing their issues. As proposed by the University, this restriction would only apply to establishments in which 30 percent of its gross sales is derived from the sale of intoxicating beverages. However, some eating establishments were concerned and asked the percentage be changed to 35 percent, and this has been changed in the proposed ordinance.
Attached is statistical information provided by Southeast Missouri State University which shows the number of notices to appear and municipal summons that were issued to University students.
City police staff have made contact with the university towns of Columbia, Warrensburg and Springfield relating to similar ordinances. Copies of the Warrensburg and Springfield ordinances are attached. In addition, the cities provided the following information:
Columbia, Missouri - University of Missouri
The City of Columbia does allow those under 21 to enter bars. It is up to the establishment's owner if they wish to not allow those under 21 to enter.
Warrensburg, Missouri - Central Missouri State University
The City of Warrensburg has adopted an ordinance stating that no one under the age of 21 can enter into traverns or similar businesses. There is an age restriction portion of their ordinance which pertains to restaurants and bars. In speaking with a Warrensurg police officer, he indicated that by adopting this ordinance it has lessened their calls for service regarding intoxicated persons.
Springfield, Missouri - Missouri State Univesrity
Springfield's ordinance states that generally during a time when alcohol is being consumed, it shall be unlawful for any person under 21 years of age to be on the premises of any bar, nightclub, establishment, event or facility that is in the primary business of selling alcohol.
Concerns have been expressed regarding the adverse affects of underaged patrons being restricted access from such establishments. One concern is that underage friends often serve as designated drivers, and an unintended result might be less designated drivers.
It is recommended that Council consider the ordinance and concerns presented. If the Council wishes to adopt this Ordinance as an emergency measure, it may do so. After the motion and second have been made to approve the first reading, someone will need to make a motion to amend the ordinance to have it approved as an emergency measure pursuant to Section 3.15(a) of the City Charter, as a bill concerning “the immediate preservation of public peace, property, health, safety or morals.” If that motion is seconded and approved by a majority vote, then the ordinance will be given a second and third reading at that time. If the amended ordinance receives 5 affirmative votes, it will take effect immediately.”
Police staff has been in contact with owners of local bar establishments. Discussions were conducted about what efforts they have in place to ensure underaged patrons and patrons of legal age are distinguishable as well as any measures they have in place to ensure that no one under the age of 21 is consuming alcohol.