The Lafayette City-Parish Council will once again consider an introductory ordinance that would prohibit open alcohol containers downtown and on the Simcoe and McKinley strips. The Lafayette City-Parish Council will once again consider an introductory ordinance that would prohibit open alcohol containers downtown and on the Simcoe and McKinley strips. District 7 Councilman Don Bertrand had the ordinance banning open containers placed on the Oct. 5 agenda. A similar ordinance failed on a 5-4 vote on Sept. 21, with some councilmen saying they opposed the ordinance because it didn't apply parishwide.
The prohibition is one of a few measures that have been considered in an effort to deal with what police and some Lafayette Consolidated Government officials consider rowdy, out-of-control crowds, especially downtown. If passed, the ordinance would bar the use of so-called go cups - plastic cups into which bar patrons transfer their beverages before leaving. Police Chief Jim Craft has alleged that much of the crowd downtown on weekends is generated not by bar patrons, but by people who drive to the area with alcohol and hang out and drink. A prohibition on open containers would presumably mitigate that problem.
Once again, a small but committed group of go cup supporters, galvanized by a Facebook page, "Save the downtown go cup," plan to attend the council meeting to oppose the ordinance. Bertrand told The Independent last week that in the interim the five councilmen who voted against the ordinance - Purvis Morrison (District 1), Brandon Shelvin (3), Kenneth Boudreaux (4), Jared Bellard (5) and William Theriot (9) - should expect calls from downtown business owners fed up with the trash left behind by bar hoppers.