:eyes Judge refuses to throw out limits on cooler size, beer bongs, etc
By Jim Forsyth
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Excessive drinking and exotic drinks like 'beer bongs' and 'cooler shots' will remain prohibited for tubers and rafters on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers in New Braunfels, a judge ruled today.
1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports Visiting Judge Ron Carr dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group called STOP, or Stop These Ordinances Please, which claimed the restrictions would damage their business. The controversial restrictions, passed in several stages over the winters, also limit the size of alcohol coolers tubers can take with them, and impose new restrictions on drunken behavior.
New Braunfels City Attorney William McKamie said he's not surprised the lawsuit was thrown out.
"They are going to have to tell us under oath that they need people to have beer bongs in New Braunfels to stay in business," McKamie said.
David Earl, who represents STOP, says he will file a new lawsuit to block the restrictions.
"This is a shame, because people have a right to enjoy the river, and the city is trying to impede on that right."
The ordinances are the result of years of complaints from New Braunfels residents, especially in the posh River Road neighborhood, of lewd, drunken, and disorderly behavior by tubers and rafters. Earl says currently laws now on the books are adequate to deal with those problems.
"Everybody loves to tube down the river, an enjoyment that's been going on for decades and has been done responsibly for decades," Earl said. "What the city is upset about is a few people who do it irresponsibly."
Earl said his new lawsuit will spell out the losses his clients will face under the restrictions.
The new laws have divided the New Braunfels community, with a recall effort against Councilman Ken Valentine, who sponsored them, on the ballot this Saturday. LINK