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IMPORTANT DATES:

Support BL2008-344 to Eliminate BYOB Alcohol in After-Hours Bars

BILL APPROVED ON THIRD READING - DEC. 16, 2008.  

SIGNED INTO LAW BY MAYOR DEAN ON DEC. 19, 2008!!!

See http://www.nashville.gov/mc/ordinances/term_2007_2011/bl2008_344.htm for the actual bill.

Congratulations to those who worked so hard to get this passed!!



This bill will be considered at the Metro Council Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 PM.    E-MAIL ALL OF OUR METRO COUNCIL MEMBERS and ask them to SUPPORT PUBLIC SAFETY in Nashville by SUPPORTING BL2008-344.   

It doesn’t matter where you live; public safety is everyone’s concern. You can e-mail ALL of the Council Members at once by going to http://www.nashville.gov/council/feedback.aspx  (Link updated.  If problems, use councilmembers@nashville.gov .) 

Be clear about what you want –  but be polite!   There are Council Members who are signing on to support us, so don't accidentally alienate our supporters!

A fact sheet is attached below -- as is a petition.   Use these -- and your e-mail -- to make sure that Metro Council hears from us all!  


NOV 28 - SPECIAL UPDATES!!!


TENNESSEAN OPINION PIECES and EDITORIAL about BL2008-344 and AFTER HOURS CLUBS:   

MAKE GOOD COMMENTS ON THE TENNESSEAN WEBSITE (But be aware that their commenting system is quirky today.  You may have to copy your comments and then paste them in, as it just doesn't "take" them sometimes.)

ITEM #1 - "Late Night Alcohol Poses A Danger" - Council Member Anna Page explains in the Tennessean WHY the ban on BYOB alcohol is needed! Nov 28, 2008 http://www.tennessean.com/article/20081128/OPINION01/811280409 

A QUOTE:  "In a traditional bar, servers and bartenders must go through a background check and training and are tested on liquor laws. The owners of after-hours bars avoid regulations such as responsibility for serving additional drinks to customers already inebriated and liability for patrons' drunkenness and their subsequent behavior." 

ITEM #2 - "Ban Would Punish Innocent Patrons" - Opinion piece in the Tennessean by William T. Cheek III, who specializes in restaurant and hospitality law - Nov 28, 2008 http://www.tennessean.com/article/20081128/OPINION01/811280410 

A QUOTE:  "At the Nolensville Road club in the news, liquor is not the problem. The business is plagued by a combination of rowdy patrons and not enough security. We do not need a new law to fix this problem."

ITEM #3 - "Crackdown on Clubs Sounds Overly Broad" - Tennessean Editorial - Nov 28, 2008  http://www.tennessean.com/article/20081128/OPINION01/811280413   

A QUOTE:  "It's not illegal to be out after 3 a.m., and it's not illegal to consume alcohol, so to say after-hours nightclubs may not allow drinking sounds too restrictive."     Read their whole editorial and then comment on the Tennessean's website.


OTHER UPDATES:

A QUOTE:  "Sometimes when you're dancing and having a good time, sometimes you don't want to stop at 3 a.m.," said DJ Ron Slomowicz, one of Music City's most popular club DJs, who got his start spinning at Nashville's after-hours clubs. "Who is the government to tell us where and when to go just because it's 3 a.m.?"   
Feel free to visit the Tennessean site and leave some comments!   (Hey, DJ Ron!  No one is telling you where and when to go -- we are just saying that you can't bring alcohol into dangerous situations that are not monitored!)
  • Nov 26, 2008 - S-Town Mike (Nashville Enclave blogger) busts the "After Hours Myths" in the Tennessean article.   Thanks, S-Town Mike!!   
http://enclave-nashville.blogspot.com/2008/11/tennessean-perpetuates-after-hours.html 



FACTS ABOUT AFTER-HOURS CLUBS and BL2008-344


FACT ONE:  “After hours establishments” are currently open to the general public after 3:00 AM, and are “BYOB” – bring your own bottle.  


FACT TWO:  This bill prohibits them from allowing patrons to bring alcohol onto the premises.  It allows entertainment, dancing, and playing live or recorded music.   See the bill at http://www.nashville.gov/mc/ordinances/term_2007_2011/bl2008_344.htm .


FACT THREE: Some “after hours” clubs have been associated with criminal activity.  The police have been very active in working with neighbors on these problems.  However, the rules and regulations for “after hours” clubs are vague, which makes enforcement very difficult.   

See Nov 11, 2008 Channel 5 story on the ordinance -- and on La Copa Fiesta and problems at this club.  http://www.newschannel5.com/global/story.asp?s=9333585 

FACT FOUR:  There is no ongoing oversight by anyone.  Metro Codes issues a permit, but no one actively monitors activity in these clubs.  The Metro Beer Board and the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission are only involved when alcohol is sold, not when it is brought in by patrons.   There is no background check required for those working in these establishments.


FACT FIVE:  This bill is simply a matter of public safety.  “After hours” clubs can be expected to be a danger to their patrons and to the neighborhoods.  Why else would they be required to have a security plan on file with the Metro Police?  Unfortunately, the clubs often get around the requirements of their own plans.

Tennessean article on the bill (Nov 12, 2008)   http://www.tennessean.com/article/20081112/NEWS0202/811120449/1009/RSS0102     Great quote in the article: Drew Mischke, manager of the Mercy Lounge, a rock club just south of downtown,welcomes the proposal. Mischke said a nearby after-hours club is a regular source of violence, putting his customers at risk. "It would make our patrons' lives much safer," he said. 

FACT SIX:    Experience has shown that providing a place for customers to bring their own alcohol to drink after 3:00 AM encourages drugs, prostitution, public urination, shootings, fights, and other unlawful behavior.  

WPLN story (Nov 18, 2008):  http://wpln.org/newstranscripts/?p=3814    Another great quote:  According to the Metro Police Department, as of November 13th police officers were called in to La Copa Fiesta 57 times over the last year. That’s high, but the clubs with the highest number of police calls were downtown. Police went to Music City Event 87 times and another downtown club, Faded, 84 times in the same period.   [NOTE: La Copa Fiesta figures are probably seriously undercounted, due to different addresses given to Metro dispatchers.]

How long will taxpayers have to subsidize these businesses through countless calls for police and ambulances?

FACT SEVEN:   The ability of these businesses to do LEGAL business will not be hampered by banning alcohol after 3:00 AM.  This bill does NOT prevent them from conducting all of the services that they can carry out legally:

a. Charging a cover charge for entry

b. Providing food and non-alcoholic beverages

c. Providing entertainment, whether live music, DJ, or karaoke. 


Nashville Scene Blogger comes out AGAINST the bill.   Be sure and read the comments and discussion:   
http://blogs.nashvillescene.com/pitw/2008/11/dear_metro_council_please_dont.php    Blogger says that supporters of the bill want to scare off newcomers to Nashville and take the city "one step closer to sterility." 

Blogger S-town Mike responds on the Enclave blog:    http://enclave-nashville.blogspot.com/2008/11/kotz-drinkanistas-vs-urban.html   Another great quote:  [U]rban residents of all stripes who have to live in the vicinity have valid concerns that hocking alcohol at after-hours clubs, which attract gangs and criminal activities, is like throwing gasoline on fires that endanger the safety of neighborhoods.

Subpages (1): DUI Statistics from MADD
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Neighborhood Action,
Nov 28, 2008, 1:02 PM
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Neighborhood Action,
Nov 28, 2008, 1:02 PM
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