Drinking liquor in public places to be regulated

DRINKING liquor in public places will soon be regulated as the Sobriety Ordinance of Davao City was passed on second reading on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Councilor Mabel Acosta, chair of the committee on peace and public safety, said this proposal is in answer to the complaint of several punong barangays who reported difficulty in regulating public drinking, especially on barangay roads and gyms, due to lack of clear policy on its prohibition.

Acosta added that this seeks to regulate the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public areas at all times as the current Liquor Ban Ordinance of Davao regulates only establishments from selling alcoholic beverages from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Based on the proposed ordinance, drinking of alcoholic beverages in public streets, sidewalks, public parks and playgrounds, and other public areas is prohibited.

Drinking liquors inside a vehicle found or parked within the prohibited areas also constitutes a violation of the ordinance.

However, customers of any establishment whose business is authorized or permitted by the City Government to use a portion or part of the street, sidewalk or public park is exempted from the provisions of this proposed ordinance.

Special occasions or festivities that will be authorized or permitted by the City Government or the Barangay will also be exempted. But they must secure a special permit to be exempted in this ordinance.

According to the proposed ordinance, a P3,000 penalty will be imposed for fist-time violators. For subsequent violators, the fines are increased from P5,000 and/or imprisonment of three months to one year at the discretion of the court.

If minors are caught violating the ordinance, they shall be endorsed to the social welfare office for assessment in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Law.

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