Nashville’s Metro Council is set to meet this week to discuss the possibility of allowing alcohol back onto party buses. In October, the Council and Mayor John Cooper voted to change the rules regarding the open-air vehicles beginning December of this year.
Councilman Freddie O’Connell submitted a bill quickly after the decision and told WKRN News that his bill would allow party buses to keep alcohol on their vehicles.
The bill will allow the bus riders to bring their own alcohol as long as the alcohol by volume is under 8 percent. That way, Nashville’s metro can regulate alcohol on the buses. Current law states that the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Association can regulate anything above the 8 percent ABV.
O’Connell’s bill states:
A managed [bring your own] beer permit shall be issued to any person engaged in a business that is permitted as a pedal carriage, horse drawn carriage, or entertainment transportation vehicle by the Metropolitan transportation licensing commission (MTLC) pursuant to Title 6 of the Metropolitan Code, and grants the right to allow a customer to store, open and consume BYO beer on a pedal carriage, horse drawn carriage, or entertainment transportation vehicle.
If the metro city council passes the bill, it will allow party buses to obtain a permit through Nashville’s Metro and keep the consumption of alcohol onboard the vehicles.
The bill also states that alcohol selling permits will only be allowed to businesses that meet certain criteria; which includes “performing arts facilities, MTLC-regulated establishments, or to eating establishments where such eating establishments possess seating capacities for not less than sixteen persons and where meals or lunches are regularly served.”
The location would also be required to have a functioning bathroom with hot and cold running water, and that it has to be “constructed of such material that the floors, walls and ceilings or carriages or vehicles can be easily cleaned and kept clean.”
O’Connell said in an interview with NewsChannel 5, “If there are a handful of good operators out there that can let their passengers have a good time without disrupting the quality of life in Nashville neighborhoods, then to me that’s something I can live with.”
Upstage Party Bus’ Patrick Kludac told The Tennessee Star that without the availability to have alcohol on the buses, it would kill the industry. “Imagine all the bars on Broadway being told they can’t have alcohol, it would be a ghost town. The city is aware of this and we are being told they are doing what needs to be done to get alcohol on the busses with permits.”
Kludac said he hopes that there will be some sort of an amendment for the bill so that it will not disrupt the Upstage Party Bus’ business.
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