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More coverage of server ordinance
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More coverage of server ordinance


I'm concerned about how little media coverage there is on a very important subject: a recent city ordinance that is a blatant civil rights violation, and in conflict with our state constitution.

The addition of section 6-1227, to the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance, has an eerie, Orwellian tone to it, when describing the new mandatory training that Savannah's bar employees must endure. Not only are they burdened with paying for a class, through a private company, and paying renewal fees to the city, they must also submit to a criminal background check and be fingerprinted and photographed by the police department.

If an individual has any alcohol, drug-related, or violent crime in their history for the past three years (the ordinance has no mention of misdemeanor or felony), the license will not be granted. There are people who will face losing their jobs, as well as individuals who will be denied employment due to this ordinance.

The permit must also be "carried on person" and "presented on demand" to any police officer or code enforcement officer. This all has been organized in a so-called effort to combat underage drinking; a crime that has actually been on the decline in Savannah!

I am not alone in my concern for this injustice. I realize there is an overwhelming amount of opposition to this ordinance, not only in the bars, but in people who are not directly affected by it. Of those I speak to, the words "insane," draconian," and "absurd" come up when I explain the extent of this legislation.

A Facebook group, created for those who oppose the ordinance, has grown from only a handful of individuals to over 500 in a matter of days. There is also a petition against the ordinance, recently drafted, in circulation, which has easily gained hundreds of signatures.

This story needs more exposure, as the protection of our civil liberties is not just an issue for a specific group of individuals, but for humanity as a whole.

Shaun Beaudry

Editor's Note: We actually ran a lengthy cover story on the ordinance in July. But I agree the issue needs more media coverage.