BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County commissioners on Tuesday voted to advance with deregulating alcohol sales hours at bars and restaurants in unincorporated communities of the county.
Commissioners supported author John Tobia, who called county restrictions preventing alcohol sales between 2 and 7 a.m., “pointless regulations.”
”This would increase the freedom of residents, visitors and business owners in Brevard County,” Tobia wrote in his proposal.
Commissioner Curt Smith said the proposal would make a lot of sense.
“If bars are open longer, people will leave when they want to leave,” Smith said. “They won’t all be leaving at the same time and won’t all be on the road at the same time so I think this is a great ordinance.”
Critics worry if drunk driving will increase.
Selling alcohol 24/7 would not apply to the county’s municipalities, like spring break hotspot Cocoa Beach.
But for the unincorporated communities like Port St. John, bartender Nikki Young said she’d be happy if Patrick’s Pub could start staying open later than 2 a.m.
“I feel like it would give people more opportunity to make some more money,” Young said. “So with more income, maybe somebody else would pick up a shift here and get another job.”
The new law would go for all businesses that have a liquor license.
Tobia said commissioners must hold one more vote on the ordinance before it goes into effect.
That vote is expected in two or four weeks.