The city of Carrollton is in the process of reconsidering its current alcohol ordinance—particularly open container laws in the downtown— after authorities had to respond to an extremely violent altercation on the square prior to the new year, they believe may have been fueled by over-indulgence and under-aged drinking. City officials are also discussing a number of other changes that they say they hope will make the ‘On The Square’ experience better and safer.
“We have a great, vibrant downtown that we all enjoy. We worked hard to build the vibe we have in downtown Carrollton… we have great restaurants… we are very proud of it,” City Manager Tim Grizzard told WLBB Radio on Wednesday. “We want a situation down there that is safe. We want something that works well for everybody involved. But, we have had some incidents— very, very late at night where fights had broken out. We don’t want our police having to deal with that… and we don’t want something to escalate into a situation that is worse. We had some gun-fire downtown recently, where someone fired a gun into the air.”
Click HERE to read about the incident that Grizzard is referring.
Mayor Betty Cason met with downtown businesses, police and other city employees earlier this week to discuss potential changes and receive feedback.
Among the likely changes to the norm, Grizzard says the city is considering a greater officer-on-foot-patrol presence in the downtown for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
“We want to make sure we have a downtown that is safe… that everybody can enjoy,” Grizzard said. “There is some discussion about our open container law and how that may change. We are aware that currently there people walking around with beer bottles— that is against the ordinance. We are going to do a better job of enforcing that. We have traffic congestion late at night where Ubers and taxis are coming right into downtown. We are discussing looking at setting aside areas away where those vehicles can drop off and/or pick up people without being in the middle of the square. We are going to enforce the underage drinking laws better. We think that offense has gotten a little bit out of hand.”
City council is expected to discuss ideas for any potential changes during an upcoming work session.