Ohio Changes Open Container Law

It may soon be legal to carry an alcoholic drink outside

It may soon be legal to carry an alcoholic drink outside

It has been standard practice in Ohio that one must drink alcohol on their property, inside a bar or restaurant and never outside walking around in public.

Did you ever think it would become legal to leave a bar with a drink, walk outside and carry it with you?

With the signing of House Bill 47, Governor Kasich has changed the law, allowing people to do just that.

The idea behind the bill that was signed into law by the governor is to create open-container districts, such as a designated area on East Fourth Street where patrons could buy a drink at one bar, continue to drink it outside on the street, and even carry it into another bar.

The stipulation is that open containers would only be permitted within these half-mile designated areas.

As mentioned in USA Today, the law allows towns with more than 50,000 people to create two zones and those with more than 35,000 people to create one, giving Cleveland two open areas for people to drink outside in public.

This population size would apply to approximately 60 Ohio cities that would now have exemptions under the new open container law.

The benefits for bar owner and customers are numerous, but with increased accessibility to alcohol comes a need for heightened security and police presence. Under this law, these designated outdoor drinking zones must include at least four alcohol permit holders, and can be no more than half a mile.

It remains to be seen the negative or positive implications from this new law, but it will certainly be an area of focus for increased drinking and police monitoring.