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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

I may only be one of the simple folk, but I fail to see how the underage prohibition ordinance being considered by the Gainesville City Commission presents substantial savings, if any at all.

Costs associated with bar patrol have risen over the past couple of years because police officers are being paid more for overtime. Members of the commission and the Alligator have argued this ordinance somehow decreases costs of bar patrol, but how?

Bar patrol officers are out to help protect our community by making sure all patrons - both of age and underage - are not engaging in dangerous behavior, including underage drinking.

By stopping some restaurants, clubs and bars from admitting patrons under 21, are we magically stopping all patrons from engaging in unsafe behavior?

What about underage patrons impacted by this ordinance? Underage individuals will simply go to other clubs, bars and house parties and will still engage in, well, what young people engage in.

There are hundreds of establishments that serve alcohol in Gainesville where unsafe behavior can occur any night, but bar patrol barely scratches the surface of patrolling these areas.

If we are looking to solve the problems of underage drinking and driving under the influence, we should increase the number of officers on the street, not decrease the number of officers.

Shame on you Alligator. We all know what young people do, and we all know this ordinance is not the solution to our problems.

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