Open Container Ban Should Stay

Police officers have enough trouble with public intoxication without being told, “Get lost, cop. I’m allowed to drink on the street.”

A bill introduced in the state Senate could lead to just such an exchange in Ohio. It would allow cities with more than 50,000 residents to designate areas exempt from the state law against having open containers of alcohol in public.

“This would allow a festival atmosphere, an open atmosphere, much like the one on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Beale Street in Memphis,” state Sen. Eric Kearney, D-Cincinnati, explained.

Many Ohioans who have strolled down Bourbon Street at night may not want such an atmosphere in their cities. Yes, it may attract tourists, as proponents claim – but it is likely to attract trouble, too.

Surely Ohio’s big cities can find better ways to attract visitors. State lawmakers should put a cork in the bill.