The City Council has tentatively passed an ordinance imposing a $65 fine on anyone cited for drinking in public.
But by adding court costs, drinking an alcoholic beverage in a park or other public area could cost as much as $100, said Jack Joseph, assistant city manager.
"That could be a very expensive beer," City Atty. Dick Laskin said during the council vote. "And it should be," added Councilman Thomas Thurman.
The council gave unanimous approval to the ordinance last week. It will come back to the council for a final reading Nov. 7. If approved then, the ordinance would become effective 30 days after passage.
Before the council's action, the city police could not fine violators but "merely ordered them to stop drinking," Joseph said. The city was having problems in the parks with drinkers, and parents were complaining about the safety of their small children, he said.