In an interesting move, the City of Orlando Board of Commissioners is weighing an option to “change” the late-night crowd in downtown Orlando. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Monday at around 2:00 P.M., the Commissioners will vote on a measure to keep bars open in downtown Orlando until 3:00 A.M. Thursday through Saturday. They are also considering limited downtown establishments that serve alcohol to 21 and up past 10:00 P.M.
While many bar owners are excited at the opportunity to stay open another hour three nights a week, others think this is going down the wrong path for the downtown environment. Commissioner Patty Sheehan, said “none of it makes sense. […]If you want to draw a different clientele, you need to concentrate on the restaurant crowd and the after-5 crowd.”
One local bar owner shed light on the potentially hazardous effects of keeping alcohol flowing an extra hour, “downtown Orlando is not going to be an entertainment district, it’s going to be a drunk district,” said Steve Sullivan the owner of Cowboy’s Orlando.
According to the Florida DMV, in 2011 there were 33,625 DUI convictions in Florida. How Orange County compares across the state? Here is chart from the Florida DMV for 2010 DUI Convictions:
2010 Florida DUI Convictions in the large Florida Counties
- Hillsborough County (Tampa) – 3,256
- Miami-Dade – (Miami) – 2,274
- Duval County – (Jacksonvile Area) – 2,222
- Pinellas County (St Petersburg) – 1,824
- Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach) – 1,561
- Orange County (Orlando) – 1,383
If these statistics are not enough for you to be convinced, consider this: M.A.D.D. reports that 30% of all fatal traffic accidents are due in part to alcohol consumption. That is a 5.6% increase from the year before.
Weigh in with your thoughts on changing the hours of drinking establishments in downtown Orlando. Be careful and think before you get behind the wheel if you have had an alcoholic beverage. Remember if you or a loved one has been injured or been in accident caused by a drunk driver seek medical care and be cooperative with law enforcement. Contact us to see if there is something we can do to help you as a result of the accident.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. Orlando Auto Accident Attorneys