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Killeen City Councilmembers denies BYOB ordinance in a 4 to 3 vote

Posted at 10:51 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 23:51:45-04

Talks of a BYOB Ordinance in Killeen are over. If passed, BYOB businesses would have been required to get an annual permit, create a security plan and follow other guidelines, Council members voted down the proposal 4-3 earlier this week.

“Data has to drive a lot of these decisions if we just kind of take one offs for everything that happens one or two times, we’re gonna be chasing the dog by the tail here,” said Killeen Councilman Ken Wilkerson.

The legislation came after two fatal shootings at BYOB businesses in Killeen, this year.

Ken Wilkerson, one of the council members who voted against it, says he didn’t see enough information to show a new law is needed.

“I liked to see that data that is saying ok this is a trend or a substantial problem within our community that we need to deal with and right now I’m just not there.”

City officials say places like Harker Heights and Austin passed similar legislation but saw little registration for permits and not much enforcement.

Officials also say an opinion, from the Texas Attorney General’s office, stated cities cannot regulate the possession or consumption of BYOB business.

Councilman Mellisa Brown, who introduced and voted for the ordinance said that’s not the intent.

“The ordinance wasn’t to regulate necessarily consumption of alcohol it was to regulate business hours and conduct which we do for every other type of business in the city,” said Killeen City Councilwoman Mellisa Brown.

The ordinance would require BYOB businesses to close at 2 a.m. and give the city the power to shut down businesses out of compliance.

“As long as we’re regulating those that gives us an opportunity to close down anybody that is operating safely it would help improve the image of the people who were able to hold onto their permits,” said Brown.

While some BYOB business owners supported the legislation, others believed the ordinance would cause more impaired driving.