Borough of West Chester, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of West Chester 11-13-1985 by Ord. No. 13-1985. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the safety, health and well-being of the people of the Borough of West Chester and their property and to regulate the conduct of persons in the Borough of West Chester by prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places or ways.
B. 
Findings.
(1) 
The Council of the Borough of West Chester finds that the possession of an open or unsealed container containing an alcoholic beverage or consumption of alcoholic beverages in public ways and public places, except under certain conditions, is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Borough of West Chester, causes unsightly and unsanitary conditions, creates a nuisance and interferes with the peace and good order of the borough.
(2) 
The Council further finds that the possession of an open or unsealed container containing an alcoholic beverage or consumption of alcoholic beverages on public ways and public places is a serious, substantial and significant cause of persons (especially persons who are under the legal age for alcoholic consumption) becoming unruly, disruptive, disorderly, uncontrollable, obnoxious, offensive and of a general character detrimental to the health, welfare and peaceful orderliness of the community. In addition, the allowance of possession of an open or unsealed container containing an alcoholic beverage or consumption of alcoholic beverages on public ways and public places has been proven to be a significant and substantial cause in the congregation of persons who in turn significantly and substantially cause and promote unruly, disruptive, disorderly, uncontrollable, obnoxious, offensive and generally detrimental behavior.
(3) 
The Council further finds that there is a significant relationship between the possession of an open or unsealed container containing an alcoholic beverage on public ways or places and the general health, welfare and safety of the public and that it has been demonstrated to this Council that the allowance of open or unsealed containers containing alcoholic beverages is the most significant and substantial factor contributing to the consumption of such alcoholic beverages.
(4) 
The Council further finds that this chapter is necessary and proper to promote the health, welfare and safety of the general public and that the restrictions on conduct created by this chapter are not unduly harsh or restrictive and are necessary and proper pursuant to the police power of the Borough of West Chester.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
Any liquor or brewed or malt beverage as defined by the Liquor Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, Article I, Section 101 et seq., as amended, 47 P.S. § 1-101, as amended.
OPEN CONTAINER
An open, unsealed, resealed or partially refilled container, can or bottle containing an alcoholic beverage.
[Added 5-10-1989 by Ord. No. 11-1989]
PERSON
Includes any individual, whether a resident or nonresident of the Borough of West Chester and whether male or female.
PUBLIC WAY or PUBLIC PLACE
A "public way" shall mean every way, including but not limited to every street, road, alley, sidewalk, steps and ramps that are open to the use of the public as a matter of right; and "public place" shall mean any place, of whatever nature, that is open to the use of the public as a matter of right, including but not limited to public parks and public buildings, so long as the "public way" or "public place" is located within the Borough of West Chester.
[Amended 5-10-1989 by Ord. No. 11-1989; 9-25-1991 by Ord. No. 18-1991]
It shall be unlawful for any person to consume any alcoholic beverage and/or possess an open container containing an alcoholic beverage in or upon public ways or places within the Borough of West Chester, except for those persons seated at tables which are contained within an approved outdoor cafe, as defined in Chapter 112, Zoning.
It shall be unlawful for any person to consume any alcoholic beverage and/or possess an open or unsealed container containing an alcoholic beverage while such person is the operator of or occupant or passenger in or on a motor vehicle which is parked, standing or being operated in a public place or public way within the Borough of West Chester. To the extent that this section is inconsistent with or specifically addressed by the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, and in particularly 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 3715, as amended, the Motor Vehicle Code shall control.
Any facility or establishment licensed to serve or to dispense alcoholic beverages by the State Liquor Control Board or other body pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and persons who are patrons of any such facilities or establishments are exempt from this chapter, provided that the patrons remain within the confines of said facilities or establishments with the alcoholic beverages. The confines of said facilities or establishments shall include the sidewalk area between the public way and the front of said facility or establishment, so long as the facility and establishment provide adequate amounts of tables and seating for its patrons and provide waiter/waitress service to its patrons at said tables and seating facilities.
[Amended 8-6-1986 by Ord. No. 5-1986; 5-10-1989 by Ord. No. 11-1989; 10-19-2011 by Ord. No. 19-2011; 12-19-2012 by Ord. No. 29-2012]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding before the District Justice, be guilty of a summary offense and be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $600. The defendant shall also be liable for all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Borough. Upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a period of not more than 30 days. Each section or provision of this chapter that is violated shall constitute a separate offense, and each day or portion thereof in which a violation of this chapter is found to exist shall constitute a separate offense, each of which shall be punishable by a separate fine imposed by the District Justice in the amounts specified above plus the costs of prosecution. Upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a term of not more than 30 days.