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‘Brown Bagging’ Ordinance brings Calls of Racism, Unfair Treatment to Minorities in Prattville Tuesday



A resolution not on the Prattville City Council agenda, but offered from the floor, was passed unanimously Tuesday night, by council members present for the meeting.

Councilman Marcus Jackson was not present at the meeting and could not vote.

Known as the “Brown Bagging” Ordinance, in essence, it amends the City of Prattville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 6 -Alcoholic Beverages, to prohibit “Brown Bagging.” The ordinance was sponsored by Councilor Jerry Starnes.

What erupted after the vote, was residents coming forward to ask why they were not made aware of the ordinance in advance, what needs to be done in order to follow the new ordinance, and feelings that the ordinance targets minorities. Several of those in opposition yelled in disagreement.

We will have much more on this tomorrow, including comments pro and against the ordinance, and try to answer some of the questions asked Tuesday night that were not clearly answered by council members.

In particular, there were concerns that events already scheduled at venues, such as the North Highland Memorial Center, would be impacted, or have to be canceled, if there is not time to get the proper licensing.

The general response to questions from the podium from Council President Albert Striplen was that it would need to be addressed by those concerned to the ABC Board, which oversees liquor licensure.

Counselors did say that the ordinance is very similar to a Selma, Alabama ordinance that is already on the book, as well as others towns across Alabama.

For now, here is a copy of the ordinance in its entirety that was adopted and will become law as of Saturday. It is city-wide, and not directed at any particular district or venue, officials said.

BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council of the City of Prattville that the City of Prattville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 6 – Alcoholic Beverages, is hereby amended as follows:

Section 1. The City of Prattville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 6 – Alcoholic Beverages, is hereby amended as follows:

Consumption of alcohol beverages brought or “brown bagged” on the premises of non-residential businesses without alcohol beverage retail licenses.

  1. Brown-bagging prohibited.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any licensed non-residential business, including businesses licensed for a rental hall, their respective owners, managers, servants, agents or employees holding a valid business license or required to hold a valid business license to knowingly allow patrons, customers, invitees, tenants, lessees or guests to bring alcoholic beverages onto the licensed premises.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any patron, customer, invitee or guest to bring, take, or carry any alcoholic beverages into any non-residential business that is holding or required to hold a city business license (whether or not the business holds a city license for alcoholic beverages).
  4. Exceptions
  5. Notwithstanding the foregoing prohibition on subsections (a) (1) and (2), it shall not be unlawful for any person hosting a private event to furnish alcohol beverages, not for sale, to the guests, invitees or attendees of the private event so long as there is not any entrance fee charge or cost to attend the event.
  6. Private event shall mean a private party, banquet, seminar, reception, wedding, reunion, fundraiser or other such occasion, which is by invitation only to guests of the host, and which is hosted by persons that do not charge or place a cost or entrance fee at the door or receive, either directly or indirectly, any form of consideration thereof, which shall not be construed to include gifts suited for the occasion, such as wedding or birthday presents, or donations which are strictly voluntary in the case of a fund raiser.

Section 2. Except as provided above, nothing contained herein restricts, modifies or prohibits the provision of any existing regulations concerning the sale, distribution, or consumption of any alcoholic beverages, which shall remain in full force.

Section 3.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances are superseded and repealed to the extent that the same are in conflict herewith.

Section 4.

This ordinance shall become effective upon passage, approval and publication or as otherwise provided by law.


By: Albert Striplin, President

Prattville City Council


By: Cathy Dickerson

City Clerk