According to Ardmore Community Development Director Jessica Scott, only about 10 percent of city businesses that sell alcohol, beer and wine are in compliance with the city’s alcoholic beverages ordinance. The problem stems from the new alcohol laws that came into effect in October.
“I think with the new law, they didn’t realize they needed to get a new permit from the city,” Scott said. In order to raise awareness, the city will soon be sending out letters to those businesses currently not in compliance.
“Our first wave is going to be a mass mailing, and then we are going to pay them all a visit,” Scott said. After that, code enforcement will begin issuing tickets and fines. However, Scott said that will be a last resort, and they want to give everyone time to get into compliance.
According to the Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance these fines will carry a cost not to exceed $500 plus court costs if convicted of being in violation. Each day or any portion of a day during which any violation is found will constitute a separate offense. However, Scott said that will be a last resort, and they are want to give everyone time to get into compliance.
“This is new, and they might not know that they even need to get a new permit from us,” Scott said.
Bar 115 is one business that is in compliance with the ordinance, and manager G.G. Powell agreed with Scott’s assessment that people do not realize they need to get a new city permit.
“A lot of people think that because they get their liquor license through the state of Oklahoma that they’re good to go,” Powell said. “I don’t think it’s because they don’t want to do it, I think it’s because they don’t realize they need to.”
Scott said the city permit is required for any business that sells alcohol, beer or wine and applications can be downloaded from the city’s website. The website also lists the different costs associated with different types of businesses. After the application is completed, they can be returned either via mail or directly to the Community Development office.
“My goal is for 50 percent compliance by June and 100 percent compliance by next December,” Scott said.