The Lowndes County Commission is studying alcohol policies as well as other policies regarding the Lowndes County Civic Center.

This on-going study comes in the wake of repeated complaints of alcohol abuse, noise, and violence during events at the civic center off Highway 84.

Calls to The Valdosta Daily Times have alleged that some events promoted as private parties, even wedding receptions, are actually fronts for individuals and groups to make a profit selling alcoholic beverages to the public.

Meanwhile, there have been fights and assaults reported during events at the Lowndes County Civic Center.

Commissioners are looking at many aspects concerning use of the Lowndes County Civic Center, including the possibility of requiring any person or group wishing to serve alcohol at the center to obtain the proper alcohol license.

This may sound like an extreme measure but, other than banning alcohol all together from the Lowndes County Civic Center, this seems the most appropriate step given the reports of abuses at the civic center.

Stricter alcohol regulations would put more responsibility on the person leasing the center, give the county more details about who plans to lease the center and for what purpose, and would likely decrease the use of alcohol at the center, which would in turn decrease the noise and violence at the civic center.

Under current policies, it would seem likely, too, that the county, rather than the individuals or groups serving alcohol at the civic center, would be held responsible if a drunk participant drove away from the center and was in a car wreck, or injured on the premises.

Alcohol licensing would create a tougher screening process for the civic center’s use. It would give the county more say in what happens at the civic center, and should make the civic center a more civil place to gather.

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