Jersey Shore town allows open booze consumption to avoid ‘enforcement nightmare’

(Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

(Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The open consumption of alcohol is now permitted in a portion of North Wildwood days after a new state law that allows bars and restaurants to sell to-go alcoholic drinks went into effect.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Mayor Patrick Rosenello said customers have not been waiting to consume their drinks until they return home.

“In an effort to head off what would be an enforcement nightmare, North Wildwood has designated certain areas in commercial districts where the consumption of alcohol will be allowed until the public health emergency is over,” he said.

Rosenello told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he doesn’t want the city’s police officers to get into “close encounters” over alcohol enforcement.

The mayor said the public consumption is now only permitted at tables and chairs placed within the public right-of-way adjacent to bars and restaurants, adding that “absolutely no gatherings of non-household or family members are permitted.”

The new state law allows bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to sell alcoholic beverages in original containers or in closed and sealed containers, and mixed cocktails in closed and sealed containers for off-site consumption.

Previously, bars and restaurants were only permitted to sell or deliver alcohol in its original container, such as a bottle of wine, a six-pack of beer, or a canned cocktail.

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