San Marcos City Council has barely passed an ordinance that would effectively can drinking on the river and absolutely ban it in public parks and on riverbanks. In spite of more than 1,000 signatures on a petition and, according to media reports, only one citizen speaking in support of it, the council voted 4-3 to accept it.
According to an article in the Austin American Statesman, councilman Jude Prather, who was the lone vote against the ban during a preliminary vote in April, wasn’t at the meeting tonight. Worth asking where he was, as a 4-4 vote would have really gummed up those works.
If I were a betting woman, I’d say the next step is likely a lawsuit – given that one is already underway against neighboring New Braunfels for an ordinance that does something very similar. We’ll be checking back with the councilman and some of the opponents to see what’s next.
Meanwhile, in case you had any doubt about what they’re going for with this ordinance, see the police chief’s quote in the Statesman article:
Police Chief Howard Williams said the alcohol ban empowers officers to take action against disorderly, drunk people who don’t meet the legal definition of public intoxication.
“Merely being intoxicated and obnoxious does not make you a hazard to yourself or others,” Williams said. “Therefore, you cannot be arrested or cited for that.”
Right. That’s because IT’S NOT ILLEGAL TO BE OBNOXIOUS. If you can’t be arrested for something, it’s because it’s not illegal. No brainer, chief.