Casper City Council to Table Proposed Alcohol Ordinance for 3 Weeks
The Casper City Council on Tuesday said it will likely table a proposed alcohol ordinance for three weeks, citing potential impacts to people who may host private get-togethers in their homes.
"We've got enough uncertainty," Mayor Charlie Powell said at Tuesday's work session. "It would be unwise to move this through the second and third reading."
The measure was proposed by Police Chief Keith McPheeters and would create penalties for anyone who serves alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated.
The measure, which passed on first reading last week, would create penalties for anyone who serves alcohol to someone who is visibly intoxicated. Should the proposal pass at second and third readings, the obvious effect would be to prevent bartenders or servers at local establishments from over-serving patrons.
However, the language of the proposed ordinance means the created penalty would also apply to anyone hosting a party at a private residence, as well.
But it ran into a buzz saw of public opposition that, among other things, was perceived as government overreach.
New councilman Ken Bates said he initially liked the proposed ordinance if it saved even one life, but he's heard concerns from his constituents in Paradise Valley about targeting servers and property rights issues.
"It's not fair to put it on the waitress and waiters and bartenders and fine them, and punishing those who want to have a party and somebody decides to get drunk," Bates said.
Council member Michael Huber wants to see the proposed ordinance submitted to the Office of the Wyoming Attorney General for an opinion, but acknowledged that the AG is not obligated to respond to such queries.