Party buses are under fire from some city council members, just one week after twenty-six minors were ticketed for underage drinking on the Ruby Tequila's party bus. The council wants to repeal a 1981 ordinance that allows buses to take large groups of people from bar to bar or drink alcohol while riding around town.
Neighborhood associations told their city council representatives that party buses are coming through their streets at all hours of the night dropping off drunk people who are loud and lewd. But party bus owners say the city doesn't have the right to shut down business. Chance Britt, owner of Nashvegas Coach says, "They're infringing on my right to have a business." Britt says his business is meant to give a large group of people a good time and a sober driver. "We pick up at a designated area, for like a bachelor party, we go bar hopping, few minutes at one bar, and then go to the next destination."
City Councilman Tom Martin has a different perspective on party buses. "It's like a progressive dinner only it's a progressive drunk. We don't need that in Lubbock."
In 1981, an ordinance passed that allowed party buses to act like limousines, but Tom Martin and other council members say citizens are complaining that buses are disrupting neighborhoods. "As they stop in the various neighborhoods, you get 20 to 40 drunk people getting off the bus throwing bottles, glasses, yelling, screaming, urinating in the street, creating disturbances."
But bus owners feel they shouldn't lose their business because of a few people who misbehave after they leave the bus. They also feel the city is over-stepping their boundaries on regulating business. Britt says, "It's like a larger limo service, so are they going to shut down limos? Will they shut down other forms of transportation?"
The city council will not be holding a public hearing for the repeal at this time, but if citizens would like to make a comment, they are encouraged to do so during citizens comments at 7:30 next Thursday morning.
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