Miami Beach commissioners gave initial approval to prohibiting alcohol sales at retail stores before 10 a.m. in an attempt to curb the homeless from getting drunk in the early morning.
Right now, you can pick up beer and wine at gas stations, grocery stores and liquor stores between 8 a.m. and midnight. Under the new law, which was approved on first reading Wednesday, the prohibition would be extended until 10 a.m. This rule does not apply to bars and restaurants.
The ordinance is sponsored by Commissioner Joy Malakoff.
Commissioner Michael Grieco, who supports the measure, said it could help reduce morning drunkenness among the homeless.
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“Right now, you have them lining up at 7:59 a.m. ready to buy booze. By 8:30 a.m., they’re drunk,” he said, adding that the ordinance was drafted in consultation with the city’s police department and homeless outreach team.
Some commissioners raised concerns about how this change would affect people who do their grocery shopping early in the morning or want to pick up alcohol before a tailgate party or barbecue.
The commission gave initial approval to the ordinance while agreeing that if it is approved on second reading, the city will revisit the issue in six months to assess its impact.