The Fort Smith Board of Directors will study a proposed ordinance that would let the city authorize public drinking during special events at its study session meeting on Tuesday, March 10.

Act 812 of 2019 by Sen. Trent Garner (R – El Dorado) and Rep. Sonia Barker (R – Smackover) lets cities create “entertainment districts” where alcohol can be carried and consumed publicly on streets and sidewalks.

These districts can be permanent or temporary, under Act 812.

The proposed ordinance in Forth Smith would create two semi-permanent public drinking districts in town.

The districts would ordinarily be inactive, but they could be activated during special events with approval from city officials — meaning public drinking could be authorized during festivals and other events in Fort Smith.

As we have said time and again, public drinking is a scourge on the community.

It raises serious concerns about drunk driving and public safety.

Public drinking doesn’t attract new businesses or bolster the economy.

It hurts neighborhoods and families.

That’s why Family Council has put together a free toolkit to help citizens oppose these public drinking districts.

Our toolkit contains talking points, information about problems public drinking has caused in other states, photographs of public drinking districts elsewhere around the country, and other resources you can use to fight public drinking in your community.

Click here to download our free toolkit.