Changes Made To Laws Covering Alcohol On Public Property In Frederick

An ordinance was approved last week by the Board of Aldermen.


Frederick, Md. (KM) An ordinance to change the laws in the City of Frederick covering alcohol on public property was approved last week by the Board of Aldermen.

The measure says possession and consumption of booze on public property is prohibited. But it’s a civil offense, and violators  would be fined no more than $100.

Assistant City Attorney Rachel Depo said last year the Maryland General Assembly amended state law making possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on public property a civil offense, and this ordinance brings the City of Frederick’s laws in line. “We were subsequently advised by the State’s Attorney’s Office to amend our ordinance to also make violations civil rather than criminal,” she said.

Depo also said the ordinance further expands the definition of public property. “We’ve expanded the area that we’re talking about and use the definition of public property articulated in the state law,” she said. “Public property includes structures, parking areas, grounds, etc. Not just parks.”

Depo also said there is a special exception for any portion of the Carroll Creek Linear Park which is set aside  for outdoor dining purposes,  if they are authorized by an agreement with the city. She also said alcoholic beverages can be served by restaurants which offer outdoor dining on city streets.

The new law also give the Board of Aldermen some criteria to use  when approving consumption of alcohol during special events on public property.

Also in the new law is a provision which lets the Mayor authorize  the serving of alcohol inside city buildings during indoor special  events.



By Kevin McManus