Over 200 people filled the El Cajon council chambers and spilled into the hallway at Tuesday night’s Council meeting.

Up for debate was the East San Diego County city’s alcohol sales ordinance.

On one side of the aisle, several members of the community and business owners expressed their frustration with the number of public drunks, stating that it impedes business and quality of life within the community.

Meanwhile, critics of the ordinance believe it will be bad for business and decimate small-scale liquor stores.

The City Council sided with supporters, and with their unanimous vote affirmed the need to curb the number of minors who obtain alcohol illegally as well as tame the city’s “serial inebriates.”

The law bans repeat offenders of alcohol-related crimes from purchasing miniature liquor bottles or fortified wine. It further imposes steep penalties on businesses that sell to minors or those on a “do not sell” list compiled of 30 or so individual names and pictures of the city’s worst drunks.

The City’s ordinance is the first of its kind in San Diego County.

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