IL: Moline to ban single-serving alcohol containers to combat public drunkenness
By Sarah Hayden
January 7, 2020
Single servings of alcohol will soon be banned from being sold in Moline.
City council members approved an amendment to the city’s alcohol ordinance during the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday night, advancing the measure to next week’s regular meeting for approval.
Police Chief Darren Gault said the ordinance change is needed to address the city’s public drunkenness problem, especially during warmer weather.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of pedestrians in the downtown area walking around with single servings of canned beer, which has caused a number of issues for quality of life, public safety and cleanliness in the downtown area,” Gault said. “We found it would be beneficial to ban single servings of alcoholic beverages.”
Gault said city officials worked with businesses that have liquor licenses to find common ground with them so they could still meet customers’ needs, especially craft beer businesses.
“We worked with our legal staff to include language where customers could buy single cans, but in a larger volume,” Gault said. “We’re trying to get away from someone walking into a gas station, buying one can of beer and walking out and disrupting our downtown or anywhere else in our community.”
The amended ordinance will prohibit sales of beer and malt liquors totaling less than 48 ounces. Consumers could purchase three 16-ounce cans or four 12-ounce cans, but not a single serving of any size less than 48 ounces.
The ordinance also applies to single serving “airplane” servings of hard liquor such as rum, vodka and tequila. Consumers must purchase a minimum amount of four miniature bottles, or a minimum aggregate total of 6.8 ounces.
Wine must be purchased by the bottle or in a pack of four mini bottles totaling 24 ounces.
Gault said it is still illegal in Moline for pedestrians to carry open containers of alcohol.
“We’ve seen an issue with those single servings of alcohol, particularly pedestrian traffic,” he said. “We are trying to address those issues. The one root cause seems to be single servings of alcohol. It affects people enjoying the riverfront, using sidewalks, parking garages and going to the TaxSlayer Center.”