Denver's new law permits patrons to drink alcohol publicly in certain spots around the city.
Denver City Council voted on Tuesday night to pass a "common consumption" bill, which allows patrons to leave a restaurant or bar with an alcoholic drink during special events.
Due to the unanimous approval of the bill, local businesses with liquor licenses can now apply for permits that allow their clients to drink in areas labeled as "entertainment districts". Areas like the Santa Fe Arts District will be categorized as an entertainment district, where the streets are closed to traffic and people can drink alcohol as they walk around and visit the various establishments. Thanks to this bill, people can carry out their alcoholic beverages from one gallery to another during First Friday Art Walk.
Other areas that could be considered entertainment districts are Larimer Square and the Great Hall at Denver International Airport.
In order to apply for the permits, businesses will need to provide evidence of community support, which will be proved through a public hearing. The cost of the annual licenses will be $250 and they can be renewed annually for the same price.
Ever since the Colorado Legislature passed a bill in 2011 that allows cities to create their own common consumption areas, several jurisdictions in the state have adopted similar common areas, including cities like Aurora, Carbondale, Central City, Fort Collins, Glendale, Greely, Leadville, Salida, and Telluride.
The bill calls for a 5-year pilot program in Denver. It is set to launch next spring.
"Our plans are to have a rulemaking committee set up by the end of the year and beginning to meet in January," said Eric Escudero, Director of Communications at the Department of Excise and Licenses. "The workgroup for the rulemaking will be announced on Denver’s liquor bulletin for people to sign up to participate."
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