WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Drinking alcohol in public will usually get you in trouble with the police, but thanks to a new law passed by the General Assembly, cities now will have the chance to create social districts.
Basically, it would allow bars and restaurants that are licensed by the ABC Board to sell alcoholic drinks to customers, who would then be permitted to leave the bar — with their drink in hand.
Customers would be expected to stay within the social district while drinking.
So far, nothing has been approved by the City Council, but Wilmington’s Legislative Affairs Manager Tony McEwen said it is something the city is looking into. Safety is one of the biggest things to keep in mind when it comes to allowing something like this. McEwen emphasized that if it were approved, it would not be a free-for-all.
“The beverage would have to be in a cup that was previously approved and representative of the particular social district and you know, that way that allows for those monitoring the situation, the social district to keep tabs on where the beverage came from so no, it would not be someone walking into a corner store and getting a glass container or a large can and walking around the city wherever they would want to — no,” he said.
Also, there would be restrictions as to where people would be allowed to take their drinks.
“They can not take that beverage into another ABC establishment. However, if a retailer chose to allow someone to walk into their establishment with one of those beverages they could do so if it was within that social district,” McEwen said.
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