18 to party, 21 to drink
Local government officials seem to be on a mission to take all the fun out of Atlanta's nightlife. In 2003, the problem was in Buckhead after a fatal shooting. The solution was requiring Atlanta bars to close at 3 a.m. and changing last call to 2:30 a.m. Last week DeKalb County commissioners called for changing DeKalb clubs and bars' last call to an hour and 55 minutes earlier. This week Atlanta City Council has passed a new ordinance stating that anyone under 21 is not allowed to work or enter a business where alcohol is consumed.
Councilwoman Cleta Winslow, who wrote the ordinance, said she is troubled by the city's law that allowed 18-year-olds to work in businesses where people are drinking. It does not affect restaurants where alcohol is served, nor supermarkets or convenience stores.
Winslow said teenagers working in strip clubs are more likely to fall into prostitution or taking drugs.
"We need to help our young ladies feel like they have some self-worth," said Winslow, 55, who said she worked three part-time jobs while in college. "We need to be more about protecting our young people. Even at 18 because the mind is not as mature at that level."
This ordinance could go into effect as early as next week.