California proposes legalizing public drinking as public intox goes unprosecuted

(The Center Square) – A new California bill could allow for city and county-approved public drinking zones as some counties decline to enforce anti-public intoxication. State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who introduced the bill, says these new “entertainment zones” could “give bars and restaurants and the surrounding businesses a much-needed boost.” In Los Angeles County the move would catch state law up with District Attorney George Gascon policy against prosecuting public drinking, influence under a controlled substance, and public intoxication announced in December 2020. 

“Getting people back out in the streets is key to the economic recovery of cities across California,” said Wiener in a statement. “By creating Entertainment Zones, we’re giving people a reason to go back to areas where recovery has been slow while creating a vital new revenue stream for bars and restaurants.”

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