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Maurice now has stricter laws for bars

Posted: 10:24 PM, Apr 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-18 23:24:47-04

In Maurice, it is now illegal to enter a bar under the age of 21 or have alcohol in the parking lot of a business.

This all comes at the recommendation of the police chief after he said his officers had problems at bar 167. While the ordinances are designed to reduce fights and keep crowds in bars, bar owners say those laws won’t work.

"A lot of them were under the age of 21, we’ve been having issues with trouble, fights things of that nature, overcrowding. a lot of it was the congregation, half of them wouldn’t even go in the establishment. They’d come here and hang in the parking lots and that’s where trouble would start," said Maurice police chief, Warren Rost.

Rost said with calls about fights and shots fired, the small force of six officers does not have the man power to keep up.

"And because we’re so short staffed as a small community, we were having to hire other officers, trying to get outside help, paying over time to try and curb this problem," he said.

The City Bar owner feels differently, saying the issue is enforcement.

"I personally think that we have changed this law so many times that it just continues and if we enforce the laws that we have, everything would be a whole lot better. So I’m asking you not to vote for it and not to pass it," said Matthew Trahan, one of the City Bar owners.

Last month the police department put officers in the parking lot of Bar 167, where the chief says most of the issues stem from.

The owner of city bar presented two different surveillance photos to aldermen at the meeting. He said one picture, with few people outside was taken Sunday night around 2 am when the bars were closing.

He said the other picture with crowds of people walking around is from before officers were in the area, but at the same time.

"So we had to do something to stop this before it gets out of hand," said Rost.

We spoke to the owner of Bar 167, who didn’t want to go on camera. He said the issues that led to the ordinances aren’t happening in his parking lot, and that he’s not had any problems at his bar. But he believes if officers were stricter on enforcement, there would not be so many issues in Maurice.