DC mayor's proposal would make drinking in public legal, with restrictions

A new initiative has been filed in D.C. that aims to boost the District's economy by creating opportunities for more outdoor dining, allowing alcohol to be consumed more freely in public and more.

The Reopen Washington, DC Alcohol Act proposes several ways to improve the economy in D.C. as its taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One of the proposed initiatives includes extending programs that have been introduced on an emergency basis, such as Streateries.

READ MORE: Plans in the works to install outdoor dining decks and expand sidewalks in Georgetown

Another is establishing a Commercial Lifestyle License that allows people visiting restaurants to walk around and consume alcohol within predefined boundaries.

The act also aims to create a 25% full-service grocery store Class A License to attract new full service grocery stores to Wards 7 and 8. Applicants interested in using this license to open a Class A grocery store in Wards 1-6 must first operate such a store in Wards 7 and 8 for at least six months.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

"I have charged my Administration with developing bold, innovative solutions to ensure our businesses and the workers they employ can thrive beyond this pandemic," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said about the Reopen Washington, DC Alcohol Act. "As we continue to focus on boosting the District’s economy, this legislation will move us in the right direction by removing hurdles for businesses and providing new ways to bring in revenue. Since the public health emergency began last March, the District has led the nation in pivoting to support restaurants and food service establishments through various funding opportunities, including the $100 million Bridge Fund, the $33 million DC Small Business Microgrant Program, the Ward 7 and 8 Microgrant Program, the Small Business Resiliency Fund, and the Streatery Winter Ready Grant Program. As we move toward a new normal, we will continue creating more innovative programs that help local businesses make it to the other side of this pandemic."

For more information on the proposed act, click here.