Tuscaloosa amends ordinances for overcrowding fines

Strip

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Joseph King

In an effort to tamp down on overcrowding in certain areas within Tuscaloosa, the city is ensuring those who are doing so get hit where it hurts: In the wallet.

On Oct. 5, the Tuscaloosa City Council amended its ordinances pertaining to fines for people remaining in overcrowded areas.

The move comes after constant complaints from business owners around the Strip near the University of Alabama campus and in other parts of town, who say they’re concerned their patrons and their premises aren’t safe with so many people loitering in the area.

Fines begin at $100 for loitering, but also include:

  • $100 fine for criminal offenses in a designated overcrowded area
  • $100 fine for an open alcoholic beverage
  • $100 fine for smoking ordinance violation
  • $100 fine for violation of the noise ordinance

The move gives more power to Tuscaloosa Police, who have been heavily patrolling the Strip in recent weeks in an attempt to reduce crowds loitering outside businesses in the evenings.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said he believes the changes will help alleviate the strain on police, who are understaffed.

“This has been a part of our ongoing effort in trying to make especially the Strip and parts of downtown safe,” Maddox said. “We’ve had issues with people just standing on the sidewalk and not moving along.”

Maddox said he needs help from business owners on the Strip, as well as the University of Alabama, to ensure that area is safe for patrons.

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