Montgomery County considers allowing alcohol in parks post-pandemic

Typically, people bring their children to parks, maybe some snacks too, but soon in Montgomery County – you might be able to bring adult beverages along as well.

Here’s why: during the pandemic, back in September of last year, the county launched a pilot program aimed at supporting local restaurants. As part of that, people were allowed to bring alcohol to 13 county parks. So, for instance, you could pick up dinner and drinks at a local restaurant and bring it all to a park. But doing that is no longer allowed. Council President Tom Hucker said that once Maryland’s State of Emergency was lifted, the county no longer had the necessary authority – although that may soon change.

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Hucker explained that officials have asked for an Attorney General opinion on whether they can still allow alcohol in parks or if some sort of new legislation would have to be passed. Either way though, the council president said that if it can happen, he thinks it will.

"We live in a democracy, we ought to be doing what people want, and I’ll tell you my mail’s probably been running 10-to-one to continue a program like this, and I’ve got no problem with it," Hucker added. "So, you know, as long as adults are enjoying an adult beverage safely outdoors, more power to them."

Parents who talked to FOX 5 were split on the idea.

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"I think if it was working during the pandemic, let’s keep it rolling," Devin Bushkar said while out with her son at Leland Neighborhood Park.

Meanwhile, mom Saher Rizvi, who was with her son at Norwood Park, said she’d prefer alcohol be banned from parks.

"It may cloud someone’s judgment and there’s little kids around," she explained.

Depending on the Attorney General's opinion, details of the program would still need to be worked out.