ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Joanna Engel's business relies on horse-drawn carriages -- and wine.
"We are the Tasting Tours," Engel explained. "We do food and wine tours in downtown historic district of St. Augustine."
Her customers see St. Augustine while in a carriage, sipping wine.
The three-year-old business has done well. However, recently Engel learned the city of St. Augustine's law does not allow alcohol consumption in a carriage.
"Oh my god. Heart stopping," she described her reaction to the news. "We had no idea because everyday police pass by us and wave and say, 'Hey. What's up? How ya doing?' and "Yeah Tasting Tours!'"
So Engel went into action.
"First thing we did was take the wine off the carriages. Second thing we did was petition our city."
She argued that if alcohol was allowed on carriages, it would benefit her business, other tourism businesses and the large wedding industry in St. Augustine.
"When this came up, this posed a problem," St. Augustine City Attorney Ron Brown noted.
He explained that when the city commission heard about this law, commissioners asked him to draft a change to the ordinance to allow consumption of alcohol in the back. The driver can't drink obviously," Brown explained.
He said the proposed change would require the driver to have "a commercial driver's license with the passenger endorsement, which would make it like a limousine. It's called the limousine exemption."
Brown said this would only apply to horse-drawn carriages.
This proposed change falls in line with state statute.
The city commission will consider the law change Monday evening and again in two weeks.
Engel hopes commissioners vote to change the current law.
"I am on pins needles," she said.
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First Coast News