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Pittsburgh City Council has passed legislation increasing the fine for an open container charge. Therefore, people charged with having an open container on city streets will now have to pay a $200 fine. For a second offense, the fine will be $300. For a third or subsequent offense, the fine will be $500. Also, a second or subsequent offense no longer has to occur within a year of the first offense to to qualify for the $300 fine.

The legislation is now in Mayor Ravenstahl’s office pending approval.

This is the text of the new ordinance:

“Whereas, the City of Pittsburgh has found the ‘Open Container Law’ to be effective in reducing public drunkenness; and

Whereas, the City of Pittsburgh wishes to place more discretion in the hands of justices hearing cases; and

Whereas, increased fines are needed to keep pace with the cost of enforcement and to maintain the intended level of intervention; now therefore

Be it resolved that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh hereby enacts as follows:

Section 1. Amending and supplementing the Pittsburgh Code of Ordinances, Title Six: Conduct;
Article I: Regulated Rights and Actions; Chapter 601: Public Order; Section 601.08: Alcohol or
Liquor Consumption on Streets or Sidewalks, is hereby amended and supplemented as follows:


(a) Prohibited Conduct. No person shall consume alcoholic beverages or carry or possess an open container of alcoholic beverages in the public right-of-way, or on private property without the consent of the landowner or tenant, except that this prohibition shall not apply to block parties held under special permit issued by the Department of Public Works and in accordance with regulations issued pursuant thereto.

(b) Penalties. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject
(1) A fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) for a first violation.
(2) A fine not exceeding three hundred dollars ($300) for a second violation of this section and, in default thereof, imprisonment not exceeding twenty-four (24) hours.
(3) A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each additional violation of this section, and in default thereof, imprisonment not exceeding seventy-two (72) hours.

(c) This section shall be known as the “‘Open Container Law'”

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