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Downtown community leaders address possible alcohol regulations

UPDATE: Members of the Downtown CID board will meet with a member of the Columbia City Council on Friday to discuss possible ways of improving the downtown area.

ORIGINAL: The Downtown Community Improvement District (CID) will address recommendations for the city by the Substance Abuse Advisory Commission (SAAC) at their monthly meeting. The CID will meet Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at their downtown office.

The SAAC’s recommendations involved prohibiting price reductions to alcoholic beverages, etc., and were addressed by the Columbia City Council last week. They included prohibiting: The distribution of free alcohol to the public, reduced prices for alcohol after 11 p.m., allowing unlimited alcoholic beverages for a fixed price, and more.

You can find all of the SAAC’s recommendations regarding drink specials here.

The SAAC sent those recommendations to council in connection to a 2015 report from the Responsible Hospitality Institute. The report found that downtown Columbia had several “incidents of violence, robbery, sexual assault, vandalism, crowd congestion, noise complaints, underage drinking, over-service of patrons, and impairment of both pedestrians and drivers.”

As of January 1st, 2016, over 20 states have prohibited ‘bottomless’ deals that offer an unlimited number of drinks for a fixed price, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

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