Pedal tavern restrictions topic for Common Council committee today

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The Milwaukee Common Council’s Public Works Committee will take up a proposed ordinance today (Jan. 29) providing for either the prohibition of alcohol on so-called “pedal taverns” or allowing for tight regulations on alcohol use for the rolling parties.

The proposed ordinance will be heard by the committee when it meets at 9 a.m. in room 301-B at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St., according to a news release.

Citizens can watch the meeting on City Channel (Channel 25 on Time Warner Cable in the City of Milwaukee), and on U-Verse Channel 99.

Online viewing is available by going to www.city.milwaukee.gov/Channel25.

There are two parts to the ordinance — Substitute A and Substitute B — which was authored by Ald. Robert J. Bauman after the state enacted a law that provides an exception to the prohibition against consumption of alcohol beverages in public places for:

• The consumption of fermented malt beverages (beer) on commercial “quadricycles” (pedal taverns).

The statute authorizes a municipality to prohibit the consumption of fermented malt beverages by passengers on a commercial pedal tavern within the municipality upon adoption of an ordinance.

Bauman’s ordinance proposes:

• Substitute A: To prohibit the sale, transport or possession of alcohol beverages on commercial pedal taverns but with an exception that allows consumption of fermented malt beverages and sets a limit of 36 ounces (or three 12-ounce cans of beer) on the amount of fermented malt beverages that a passenger may possess or carry.

Or

• Substitute B: To prohibit consumption of all alcohol beverages (including fermented malt beverages) on pedal taverns within the city.

Under the proposed ordinance, persons convicted of driving a commercial pedal tavern in violation of the regulations would be banned from subsequently driving a commercial pedal tavern and, if convicted of prohibited driving, are subject to a forfeiture of not less than $1,000 and not more than $2,000.

Also, forfeiture penalties are provided for violation of commercial pedal tavern regulations in the amount of not less than $200 and not more than $500 with minimum penalties of not less than $350 if the violation occurs in designated cruising areas between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Under the option of allowing regulated alcohol use to 36 ounces of beer per passenger, the ordinance would require pedal tavern operators to inform passengers about restrictions on alcohol beverages and requires posting of a notice of restrictions in a form and manner to be approved by the city.