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CINCINNATI - Tri-State residents may soon be able to walk around parts of Cincinnati with an opened alcoholic beverage if the Ohio Senate passes a bill presented by a local representative.
On Thursday, Sen. Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) introduced Senate Bill 116 , which would allow a "municipal corporation" with a population of more than 50,000 to create entertainment districts that are exempt from Ohio's open container law. Kearney said communities like Over-the-Rhine are great candidates for the proposed open container policy.
"Senate Bill 116 will promote tourism and business development across the state," Kearney said in a news release. "By modifying Ohio's law, this will provide an opportunity for developments such as the Over-the-Rhine Gateway in Cincinnati and The Flats in Cleveland to create an entertainment experience and attract more customers."
In the bill, an entertainment district is defined as a designated area that does not exceed one-half mile by one-half mile.
Under the proposed bill:
- A person may not enter the entertainment district with an alcoholic beverage. All alcoholic beverages must be purchased from a permit-holding vendor.
- There must be at least four permit holders in an area.
- A local legislative body of the community can issue or revoke the entertainment district permit.
- There may be no more than:
--Three entertainment districts per area of 300,000 people or more.
--Two entertainment districts per area of more than 150,000 people but less than 300,000.
--One entertainment district per 50,000 but less than or equal to 150,000.
Cincinnati's population is more than 296,000, according to the 2012 U.S. Census, making it eligible for at least two entertainment districts.
The Buckeye State's current open container law says that no one should have an opened container of beer or intoxicating liquor in a state liquor store or any other public place, except for when permits issued by the division of liquor control allow it. To read the full open container law, go to http://www.com.ohio.gov/liqr/OpenContainerLaw.aspx .
Kearney represents Ohio's 9th district, which includes parts of Cincinnati, St. Bernard, Elmwood Place, Norwood, Golf Manor, Hollydale, Columbia Township, Silverton and Springfield Township.
To read more about Senate Bill 116, go to http://www.ohiosenate.gov/kearney/press/senator-kearney-introduces-legislation-to-modify-ohios-open-container-law .
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