Councilman To Propose 30-Year-Old Age Restriction To Enter Bars/Nightclubs

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By Catalina Trivino

A Montgomery city councilman says he has the answer to solve underage drinking at bars and nightclub violence -- but some say his idea goes too far.

State law says you have to be 19 to walk into a bar. Even though the Montgomery City Council has just raised that to 21 at most places in the city, one councilman wants to go further and raise the age limit to 30.

"I think 30 is outragous," Said 21-year-old Darius Longmire.

But what if 30 was the age written on all bar establishments?

That's exactly what councilman, David Burkette, says he wants to raise the age to. He says he's been researching and talking with city leaders in other areas that have the same ordinance for the last year.

He believes raising the age could prevent underage drinking and even crime, like the most recent shooting at Centenial Hill Bar and Grill, which left three people dead and another five in the hospital.

"Based on the tragedies over the years, that has happened and it always happens within our young people, in between 13 and 29, it always happens in beteween that so I said [at] age 30, everybody is a little bit more concerned about what's going on," Said Burkette.

But he says both the new 21-year-old restriction and his proposed ordinance would exclude the city's downtown and Cloverdale entertainment districts, as well as restaurants that serve alcohol.
    
"Kind of wrong because the law is 21. You can drink wherever as long as you're acting in a normal stage," Said Longmire, who told us the restriction wouldn't be fair.

But 28-year-old, Michelle Rose, says she hopes the council will meet halfway at 25-years-old.

"I understand the reason behind it being that students in college... they drink because that's what college is 'all about mostly'... that's what they think. So, I would go for 25 given that [it would] permit  them not acting out in college. They'll focus more on school work," Said Rose.

Burkette says the 21-year-old age restriction will go into effect January 21st, unless the Mayor vetos it by next Friday.

He plans to propose the 30-year-old age restriction next month.

Burkette says if his proposed ordinance is approved, he hopes to enforce it starting this spring.