Open container districts could soon be reality in Birmingham

      In a few weeks, it could be legal in the city of Birmingham for people at restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues to walk around outside with beer or other drinks in their hands.

      That's because the open container law, under the state of Alabama, allows people to walk around outdoors with alcoholic beverages. But each city must define what those boundaries and rules are for the enaction of the law.

      Councilor Johnathan Austin, who is chairman of the city's Public Safety Committee, says city leaders will review Wednesday the enabling legislation that each city must pass in order to begin the process of setting up the open container zones. Austin tells ABC 33/40 some of those guidelines include whether zones must use wristbands, block off streets or only enact the law during certain hours.

      Austin says some areas are already being considered as open container districts, including the new downtown entertainment district, the area near the new Regions Field, the Lakeview district, the Five Points South district and the 2nd Avenue North area.

      Austin says Birmingham is the only city in Alabama that can have up to five entertainment zones where the open container law can be enacted. He says the ordinance can further boost the city's tourism industry. The council, however, must vote on the enabling legislation before it becomes legal.

      Stay with ABC 33/40 for this developing story.{}