PORT ALLEN — After a one-week ban, bars and nightclubs in the unincorporated areas of West Baton Rouge Parish will again be allowed to sell liquor after 10 p.m. Sundays.
West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley “Peewee” Berthelot said this week he’s issued an executive order at the request of the Parish Council to lift the ban the council previously put in place.
The Parish Council voted 8-1 during its May 12 meeting to enact the ban despite protests from business owners who said Sunday is their busiest night of the week and shutting down drinking after 10 p.m. would greatly harm their overall sales.
The ordinance stated that on Sundays, the sale of all alcoholic beverages must stop and the businesses shall be closed at 10 p.m. and may not reopen until 6 a.m. on Mondays, said Jason Manola, executive assistant to the parish president.
The ban did not apply to Super Bowl Sunday, a Sunday followed by Memorial Day, Labor Day, the Fourth of July, New Year’s Day, or if the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday, Manola said.
The Sunday night closure ordinance took effect June 16, affecting barrooms three days later, Berthelot said.
But at the Parish Council’s June 23 meeting, council members approved a resolution asking Berthelot to issue an executive order suspending the May 12 ban.
Berthelot said the reversal involved legal issues.
“We can make them stop selling alcohol, but we couldn’t make them close,” he said. “It’s an enforcement problem.”
The council is considering whether to bring the matter of Sunday closing times to a vote of the public, Berthelot said.
The issue of Sunday liquor sales came up in response to two shootings that occurred at parish bars at around 3 a.m. on Feb. 14 and March 28, Berthelot has said.