2015 Changes to Cape Girardeau's Alcohol Ordinances Take Place on July 1

On Jan. 5, 2015, the City Council voted on changes to the Code of Ordinances Chapter 5 regarding alcoholic beverages.  These amended changes go in effect July 1, 2015. Below are the amended sections in Chapter 5.
Sec. 5-12. – Prohibited acts committed by and involving minors; exemptions.

  1. Duty of licensee, etc. No person licensed under the provisions of this chapter and the general ordinances of the city, nor any employee of such person shall permit or fail to prohibit any minor to enter, visit or remain upon any premises where intoxicating liquor is served or is sold to be consumed on the premises, unless such minor is accompanied by one (1) of his or her parents or by his or her legal guardian. For the purpose of this section “minor” is defined as a person under the age of twenty-one (21) years.

The exemptions to this ordinance are:
(1)    Golf course with nine (9) or more holes.
(2)    Bowling alley with five (5) or more lanes.
(3)    A sports complex or community center owned by a public entity.
(4)    Locations that have a business license to operate as a public building, public grounds, or public hall as defined in section 15-1 of this Code and are exclusively used as such. The exemption shall only apply during the hours of 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.
(5)    Restaurants exempted. The provisions of subsection (c) and subsection shall not apply to those establishments whose primary purpose for being in business is the sale of food and has more than fifty (50) percent of its sales from food prepared on the premises. A minor may enter and remain upon such premises solely for the purpose of purchasing food.
Sec. 5-48. – Consumption liquor license; license required; regulations; penalties; exceptions

  1. D. Any person involved in the direct participation in retail sales of intoxicating liquor is required to complete an alcohol education program that is approved by the chief of police or his designee once every two (2) years. No person licensed under the provisions of this chapter and the general ordinances of the city, nor any employee of such person shall permit or fail to prohibit any person from participating directly in the retail sale of intoxicating liquor who has not completed such program as required herein. A licensee shall maintain a certificate of an employee’s successful completion of such program on the licensee’s premises and such records shall be available for inspection upon demand by the City of Cape Girardeau, a police officer or liquor control agent. For purposes of this section, the phrase “direct participation in retail sales” includes the duties of accepting payment, taking orders, serving, mixing, or assisting in mixing or serving of intoxicating liquor and includes, but not limited to, a manager/supervisor, bartender, server, cashier, sales clerk or door person. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of violating this subsection that the person working in such capacity at the time of the alleged offense had been employed at the place of business for less than fifteen (15) days.

The web site for the on line training is:  http://wellness.missouri.edu/SMART
Sec. 5-49. – Drink specials prohibited.
No person licensed under the provisions of this chapter, nor any employee of such person shall permit or fail to prohibit any of the following:

  • The sale, offering, or delivery for sale beer or intoxicating liquor of any type, at less than the cost of the beer or liquor to the license holder;
  • The sale, offering, or delivering to any person an unlimited number of drinks containing beer or intoxicating liquor of any type during a set period of time for a fixed price;
  • Within the business establishment or the licensed premises, any game or contest which involves drinking or awarding any drinks containing beer or intoxicating liquor of any type.

Any questions regarding these changes, please contact Sgt. Brad Smith with the Cape Girardeau Police Department at 573-335-6621.


  1. I’ve seen the Cape Girardeau city council make some bonehead votes and decisions concerning Cape nightlife over the years, but THIS one is the stupidest and most impacting YET!!!

    • Todd – Anyone with concerns about this, or any other topics brought forth in the community, is encouraged to interact with their City Council Ward Representative. You can find your ward and who to contact at http://www.cityofcape.org/citycouncil.
      The ordinance, or its changes, should not affect a happy hour or night out for responsible adults. The changes were brought forward to put a stop to dangerous, all-you-can-drink binge drinking. A restaurant or bar can still have promotions as long as they aren’t selling the product for less than it cost them.

  2. It’s ridiculous pants-on-head-retarded legislation like this that makes me glad I’m out of Cape now. I’m not sure if the city council can possibly outdo itself on the “nuisance party” ordinance, but it appears they’re giving it their best shot. Limiting illegal or dangerous activities is one thing, but dictating how a business may operate well within the law, in the same way those businesses are operated across the country and indeed miles away, is overreaching and absurd. Forcing minimum prices on drinks along with outlawing fixed pricing sales does nothing but force customers to spend more money, while still removing the incentives that come along with them for both customers and the business. Nice work Cape Girardeau City Council, you’re doing a fantastic job at pissing everyone off while simultaneously harming business all for yet another thinly veiled spiteful shot at the college, young, and social residents of Cape. I feel sorry for those who are forced to live under the ordinances enacted by these incompetent ignorant buffoons.

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