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Lawsuit filed against New Braunfels tubing ordinances

There may have been a slight easing of the recent rules about what you can and can’t do on the rivers in New Braunfels, but it wasn’t enough for some disgruntled business owners.

A group of New Braunfels business owners is suing the city to block rules intended to control alcohol consumption on the Guadalupe and Comal rivers.

More than 10 river outfitters, beer distributors and other individuals make up the group calling itself “Stop The Ordinances Please,” said Scott Tschirhart, the group’s lawyer.

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in 207th District Court, seeks a temporary restraining order and permanent injunctions against four ordinances approved by the City Council in the past year to clamp down on rowdy tubers.

The group is challenging rules that limit the size of coolers allowed on the rivers, prohibit alcohol consumption in some riverside parks, and ban Jell-O shots and beer bongs on the rivers.

As you know, I have serious issues with the cooler-size restrictions. The beer bong and Jell-O shot bans are much easier to defend on the merits.

The lawsuit claims the city’s ordinances violate the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, which says only the state can govern the transportation or possession of alcoholic beverages.

“This is not a lawsuit to promote drinking on the Guadalupe and Comal rivers,” Tschirhart said. “What this lawsuit is about is the City of New Braunfels overstepping their legislative authority.”

Paul Isham, interim city attorney for New Braunfels, said the ordinances don’t prevent anyone from “possessing, using or consuming alcohol” on the rivers.

“The city feels that the ordinances it has adopted are legal, and we plan to vigorously defend those ordinances,” Isham said.

Should make for an interesting argument. Any lawyers want to weigh in here?

More from the Express News. We’ll see what happens at the hearing on the 26th.

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