Lakeland considers allowing open containers

- Lakeland may be joining Key West, New Orleans. Louisiana and Savannah, Georgia as a party town. The city is kicking around the idea of allowing people to drink in the streets.

Commissioner Michael Dunn thinks by loosening the open container law, more people would be lured downtown, and businesses would benefit.

"You would be able to buy, say, a beer at one establishment, drink it, if you choose, move to another establishment," Dunn explained to FOX 13. "You would simply be able to take that container with you to the next stop."

Dunn says Lakeland might want to follow in the footsteps of Savannah. Savannah lets you drink alcohol in public as long as it is in a plastic or paper cup and it's 16 ounces or less.

Dunn says a group of officials from Lakeland might want to take a trip to Savannah to see how it is working out for them.

Julie Townsend, the Executive Director of Lakeland's Downtown Development Authority says there is no need to go anywhere. On Friday, her group issued a statement saying they oppose changing the city's open container law.

Townsend is concerned that people will dump their empty cups wherever they want, drink too much and relieve themselves in public.

"Unfortunately, we do have folks, you know, that can't make it to a restroom," Townsend said.

Dunn plans to bring the issue up at a future commission meeting.

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