Published Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 | 11:36 a.m.
Updated Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 | 3:56 p.m.
The Clark County Commission voted today to ban glass bottles on the Las Vegas Strip to prevent them from being used as weapons and to cut down on litter.
The measure prohibits anyone from carrying an open beverage in a glass container on Las Vegas Boulevard between Russell Road and Sahara Avenue. Tourists will still be able to consume alcoholic beverages while strolling the Strip.
The ban will take effect two weeks from today.
The impetus for the ban came from Metro Police, which reported an uptick of violent crimes on the Strip in which glass bottles were used. There have been nearly four dozen incidents involving bottles since the start of the year, Commissioner Mary Beth Scow said.
Commissioners said banning glass bottles will also reduce broken glass littering Strip sidewalks.
The county already bans glass bottles on the Strip during New Year’s Eve festivities, which draw hundreds of thousands of people. Today’s decision extends the ban year-round.
The measure includes an exception that allows glass bottles as long as they are in paper or plastic bags that are stapled shut and have a store receipt attached.
Anyone caught by police drinking from a glass container on the Strip will be asked to dispose of the beverage. If a person refuses, police can confiscate the drink and, if necessary, arrest the person on a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum fine of $1,000 or up to six months in jail. A Metro Police representative said the agency doesn’t think many instances will end in arrests.
The new restrictions did draw push back from several operators of convenience stores along the Strip. Several 7-11 franchisees told the commission today that the ban would hurt sales of glass-bottled beverages at their businesses. Requiring bottles to be stapled shut in bags is an unnecessary step that won’t address crime issues, said Barry Yost, who runs a 7-11 on the Strip.