City Council Relaxes Open Container Law

Last week the Tampa city council took steps to relax the current open container laws, voting to eliminate the requirement that those cited for public drinking appear before a judge. This comes after complaints from Judges that dockets were crowded with open container tickets, many of whom were homeless people. Council members voted to approve the proposed changes; if approved on a second vote next month, violators would only have to pay a $75 fine. Violators would still be allowed to contest the fine in front of a judge, similar to a parking ticket, he said, and would be able to do community service in lieu of paying a fine.

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