Hillsborough County looks to help responsible drinkers05/16/07 Mitch E. Perry
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The Hillsborough County Commission moved forward on new legislation that would allow inebriated bar patrons to leave their car overnight at an establishment without fear of having their auto towed.
The proposal was brought forward by Commissioner Kevin White (roll tape#1 o.q.”
For acting responsibly”)
Such a program providing free cab rides is currently underwritten by local beer distributors. But abandoned cars quickly get swept up by tow trucks – creating an unpleasant fee for such seemingly responsible drinkers. So White said he had come up with a solution after meeting with local ‘industry’ members.(roll tape#2 o.q.”removed”)
White said this would allow business owners full authority to have any car removed from their property whenever, but would still allow a customer to leave their car there after checking in with the management.
The County’s Legal Department will work on updating the Ordinance and bring it back to the board in a month.
Commissioner White’s 2nd phase of his plan was not so universally accepted.
White said he wanted to make it easy for tow truck drivers to get to the scene by allowing them to bring their light duty tow trucks home with them – in essence, exempting them from the County law banning commercial vehicles from neighborhoods.
But Commissioner Rose Ferlita couldn’t said she couldn’t support that (roll tape#3 o.q.” a quality of life issue”)
Commission Chairman Jim Norman said he thought it might be possible to have such vehicles parked in strip mall parking lots, but he thought it would not work out to have them in residential areas (roll tape#4 o.q.”and that’s just my opinion”)
That issue will go to various Neighborhood Associations spread out throughout the county before coming back to the County Commission Board.