DeQuincy updates alcohol ordinance - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DeQuincy updates alcohol ordinance

DEQUINCY, LA (KPLC) -

It's one of the more conservative cities in Southwest Louisiana, but the DeQuincy City Council updated its alcohol ordinance with little to no opposition. It's something that hasn't been done in more than 70 years. While the law does free up the distance to where a restaurant can serve alcohol it doesn't come without certain restrictions.

The Council began looking at the ordinance after Comeaux's restaurant applied for its liquor license but learned DeQuincy law prohibited them from serving more than 3.2% alcohol content because it sits within 300 feet of a school.

"We are mainly a restaurant. We just want to offer the option of being able to buy a beer and have it with your crawfish. Just have something to drink," said Keith Comeaux, co-owner of Comeaux's.

"It's an ordinance that hasn't been updated in quiet some time. Come to find out this had not been done since the 30s and 40s," said Council Member Denise Maddox.

Maddox helped update the ordinance to change the distance to 200 feet and increases the alcohol content limit to 6%. Despite one constituent voicing opposition most support the change.

The Council has been discussing the alcohol issue for several months now. DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan had his own concerns. He said if certain restrictions weren't in place he would veto the ordinance.

"I wanted to make sure the Council bared in mind this was not an order for one establishment or one restaurant this was something that would effect the whole town. And I wanted to make sure they understood that and we wouldn't have an ordinance that would allow us to have bars popping up all over DeQuincy. And I don't think that's what DeQuincy really wanted.

Under the new ordinance alcohol can only be sold at restaurants and at least 80% of the revenue must come from food sales. Patrons welcome the idea of having a cold one with dinner.

"I feel comfortable in that I feel that a restaurant serving alcohol and having a beer with my dinner is a little different than having a bar. I'm not going to leave drunk," said Geoffrey Thorn.

The ordinance will be policed by DeQuincy Police, State Police and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office. 

"We really feel like this is a good compromise, but if it does not work the Council has all committed to revamp this ordinance and look into it further," said Maddox.

The vote to change the ordinance was unanimous. However, under the updated ordinance wine is not allowed to be sold within 200 feet of a school or park and all alcohol sales on Sunday are still prohibited.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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