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Open Container Districts Now Allowed in Ohio

Posted On: July 17th, 2015   |   Posted by: Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP

As of May, open container districts are officially legal in Ohio. A bill proposing these open container districts was signed into law by Governor John Kasich on April 30th. The new law allows larger Ohio cities and townships to designate districts allowing people to drink alcohol outside of private establishments, so long as the alcohol is purchased within the zone.

These “entertainment districts” could exist in limited areas that have at least four drinking establishments within, but each city is limited to a maximum of two zones.

An emergency clause within the new Ohio open container law allowed it to immediately come into effect. The hope was that with these entertainment districts approved in time for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game on July 14 in Cincinnati that one could be approved and readied before the event.

Unfortunately, the Banks on Cincinnati’s waterfront was not able to accomplish needed preparations in time, but it is expected to be established in time for Opening Day.

Where Are the Open Container Districts?

If you are looking to celebrate in one of these districts soon, you’ll still have to wait. So far, no city or township in Ohio has approved and opened an open container district. That does not mean that they aren’t in the works, though. Cincinnati and other cities around Ohio are proposing ideas for districts where this law may apply.

Here in Columbus, some have speculated that the Arena District may be a great location for such a zone. While no formal plans are in motion, city officials are already preparing for the safety and legal issues that will need to be dealt with before an open container district can be opened. It is possible that one will be opened within the next year.

In the meantime, though, old Ohio open container laws still apply in Columbus and across the state. Currently, there is no area where you are permitted to drink outside of private property, so it is important to heed the old laws.

If you are caught with an open container or violating another Ohio alcohol law, you may find yourself facing large fines or much more serious consequences, even jail. If you have been arrested on alcohol-related charges, call the Columbus defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck, & Associates today at (614) 500-3836. We will help you fight the charges and get the best outcome possible.

I can FINALLY breathe easy now. I want to thank Mr. Bowen and all the attorneys that helped me with this case.

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