Lawmakers approve underage proposal for downtown bars

Mar 20, 2012

The Buffalo Common Council has unanimously approved a law that would keep underage patrons out of bars after 10 p.m. most nights of the week.  

Citizens under the age of 21 would be banned from being inside taverns six nights a week in downtown Buffalo with the exception of Thursdays, which is often deemed “college night” at bars. 

Ellicott District Council member Darius Pridgen sponsored the measure and first introduced the proposed legislation in January.  He said a number of police reports showed citizens under the age of 21 were being arrested in the downtown entertainment district for public intoxication.

"It doesn't totally eliminate those under 21 from being able to come down. There is, in this legislation, an exemption for Thursday nights and then there are special exemptions that an owner can apply for," said Pridgen.

Pridgen says any bar caught violating the law repeatedly could lose their licenses.

While many downtown establishments have expressed support for the restrictions, others opposed the legislation. Coucilmembers say the agreed-upon law is a compromise measure.

Pridgen says he fears Mayor Byron Brown might veto it, but he says there are enough votes for an override. The mayor has ten days to veto the law.