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Dunwoody council rejects amendment to alcohol ordinance
by Sarah Anne Voyles
svoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
July 23, 2013 02:47 PM | 2507 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Dunwoody City Council denied amending an ordinance on the consumption of alcoholic beverages at city-sponsored or co-sponsored events because of the words ‘under the influence.’

Council members Denis Shortal, Adrian Bonser and Doug Thompson were absent.

Those present — Terry Nall, Lynn Deutsch, John Heneghan and Mayor Mike Davis — all expressed concern about the wording of the ordinance.

“Right now our system is a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ type of system,” Davis said. “We have all of our citizens sneaking it [alcohol] in and the city looks the other way and the police look the other way. We are not really solving the problem, just kicking it down the way.”

Dunwoody residents Barbara and Jay Pryor did not see the necessity for the amending the ordinance and believed adding such amendments would lead to unintended consequences.

“It is unconscionable to encourage and allow people to consume any alcoholic beverage or be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage at these family events,” Barbara said.

City Attorney Cecil McClendon advised the council to pass the amendment because the language ‘under the influence’ is not meant to be a term of art as in criminal law. He said this ordinance would not permit any drunkenness.

“This ordinance would not preempt public drunkenness,” McClendon said. “I would not take it out of there because there is an area where you may have been drinking and are at the legal limit. Frankly, this is the historical language for this type of ordinance.”

The council unanimously voted against the motion. Heneghan said he normally does not go against legal council advice but he believes this ordinance does not stop public drunkenness.

“Without this amendment taken out I have to vote against it,” Heneghan said. “I am happy to put forth an amendment to remove the words.”

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In other news, council approved a motion for public safety video surveillance. This motion provides Dunwoody with cameras in public parks that will help provide evidence after an incident has occurred and provide officers monitors in their cars when they cannot be in all areas. This also provides the opportunity for the city to join with other municipalities in the future.

The last motion in unfinished business that was approved by the council, was to award a contract to Trees Atlanta. This will provide for trees to be planted within city parks. Councilwoman Deutsch said she was concerned that only one bid was received. The motion passed three to one, Deutsch being the only dissenting vote.

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