ATLANTIC CITY — Drinking alcoholic beverages while strolling the Atlantic City boardwalk edged closer to becoming a reality as a measure recently advanced out of a state Senate committee.

Under the amended bill, a person 21 or older would be allowed to carry one drink at a time along the beach, boardwalk and other areas within the Atlantic City tourism district.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) also must hold a public hearing on the idea before adopting a resolution to put an "open container area" in motion.

An identical measure was introduced in the state Assembly on May 20 and referred to committee.

If adopted, the open container rules would bring Atlantic City in-line with such other U.S. tourist hotspots as Las Vegas, New Orleans and Key West.

Previously, state Sen. Chris Brown, R-Atlantic, said of the measure: "We constantly have to look for new ways to enhance visitors’ experience, while ensuring the public’s safety, which is why, following the advice of our local police department, tourism experts and local business owners who all agree, allowing responsible visitors to enjoy a drink as they take in the sights and sounds along the Boardwalk will foster a more vibrant atmosphere, providing another reason for tourists to spend more time and money at our local businesses."

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