Jun 11, 2012 10:55 PM by Jim Hummel

Ordinance Seeks To Curb Underage Drinking At International Rice Festival

Changes could be in store for this year's International Rice Festival in Crowley. Tuesday night, an ordinance will be introduced at the Crowley City Council, which would require that "drink bracelets" be purchased by anyone over 21 who wishes to drink at the festival.

"The goal is two-fold," said councilman Elliot Doré, who also sits on the board of the Rice Festival. "The police chief came to us and was looking for ways to tighten up and curb underage drinking and we're looking for ways to generate funds and pay for the costs of the rice festival."

Doré says under the ordinance, the bracelets would be sold for $2 each day, and the revenue would help offset an estimated $50-thousand, which the city pays for an added police presence during the festival.

Crowley Chief of Police KP Gibson says there are pros and cons to the ordinance, and says his department will support whatever decision is made by the council. Gibson acknowledges the bracelets would help regulate underage drinking, but adds it could be a difficult ordinance to enforce.

"Our resources are stretched pretty thin during Rice Fest," said Gibson. "So that's going to be the challenge in that first year, should this pass and move forward."

The council will vote on the introductory ordinance at its Tuesday meeting, should it pass a public forum will be held before a vote on final adoption.



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