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Alcohol Ban in Fort Lauderdale Florida Could be Lifted on Beaches

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Jan 21, 2013 05:28 PM EST

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White Beach
Ft. Lauderdale beaches may lift a no-alcohol ban.(Photo : Wikimedia)

A ban in Fort Lauderdale, Florida which said that people couldn't drink on the beach could be lifted. The Florida Sun Sentinel reported that commissioners are going to discuss proposals to allow State Road AIA hotels and restaurants to sell alcohol on their beach front property and allow individuals on the beach to bring their on alcohol and drink on the beach.

"Fort Lauderdale beach is a world-class destination," said Aiton Yaari, a member of the beach business district committee. "We want to be something special. We want to be like Saint-Tropez."

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The proposal, if passed would allow permits to serve drinks and food to guests as well as for the public in zoned areas and in front of their own properties to drink alcohol. "The service would be available between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.; customers would have to pay with credit or debit cards; and the food and beverage containers would be recyclable and would have to be cleaned up by the serving crews," reported the Sun Sentinel.

Others residents in the area are not info the idea for fear that they won't be able to control it.

"I don't think it's a good idea for that reason, because you can't control it," beach resident Mel Rubinstein said to the Sun Sentinel. "You can't confine it to the people that you want to."

City manager Lee Feldman wrote about the proposal, "This would allow for the sale of alcohol beverages in proposed zones and also allow visitors who choose not to purchase alcoholic beverages from a hotel/restaurant, to bring their own beverages to the beach.

CBS reported that the city had already ended a Sunday morning alcohol ban two years ago, in order to accommodate weekend brunchers.

Fort Lauderdale's Mayor Jack Seiler is cautious about the ban lift.

"I'm being very careful and cautious about how far we expand this, if we expand it," Seiler said to the Sun Sentinel. "I don't want people showing up at the beach with six packs, and I don't want them showing up with bottles."

Other cities have also recently lifted alcohol bans on the beach. Ocean City New Jersey now allows alcohol to be served on beaches.

Some were opposed to the ban lift, "This is a huge issue for the future of the town: tradition against change," said City Councilman Keith Hartzell to USA Today. "It's a divisive issue and I can't wait to get it behind us."

Others were in support of it so they can enjoy the beach and an occasional glass of wine on the beach.  "My wife and I and our friends are wine drinkers," Lindsey Stott said to USA Today Travel. "We'd love to take advantage of this, and sit and enjoy a nice meal with a glass of wine. Everyone's afraid of people going on the boardwalk all drunk, but it won't be like that. Restaurant patrons will not be drunken 20-somethings."

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