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Conyers cracks down with 'dive bar' laws
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The city of Conyers is looking at new laws to crack down on "dive bars" after an incident where a stripper pole was reportedly installed onto a motel room floor while other illegal activities reportedly took place.

The incident in question reportedly took place the weekend of Dec. 17 at the Hampton Inn in Conyers.

According to Conyers Police Sgt. Clay Ivey, who helps enforce code and zoning violations, he had received a tip that there had been a party in a motel with a portable stripper pole and drug use and alcohol being sold. When Ivey talked with employees at the motel, he was shown a picture of a room in disarray where a portable stripper pole had been bolted onto the floor.

The occupants had rented out multiple rooms around that room and had even tried to ask for a new room when they broke one of the sinks, according to Ivey.

However the motel chose not to prosecute, and since the evidence was already gone, there was not much that could be done.

"This is the first one we've known of happening down here," said Ivey. "It's a practice they do in bigger cities, Atlanta, DeKalb. This is the only one we know that's occurred down her."

In another incident at Hampton Inn on Dec. 28, an entertainer reportedly became sick and relieved herself in the elevator. Police were called in around 1 a.m.

Police Chief Gene Wilson recently proposed implementing local laws against "dive bars" to allow a location to be held accountable for such activities instead of just the occupants of a location.

Assistant city attorney Carrie Bootcheck said the laws, which have been implemented in Athens/Clarke County, would give law enforcement another tool to fight such activities. 

"It allows the city to issue a citation to the owner or manager," she said. In addition to the risk of a $1000 fine and jail time, it would also allow the city to revoke alcohol licenses or, in extreme cases, to go through the procedure to close down a public nuisance.

"We don't have any ordinance on the books right now," Bootcheck said, in the state or city. The only thing close to it is an old law against a "disorderly house."

"It hearkens back to the days of Prohibition," said Bootcheck, "when you could go and buy liquor and whatever else you weren't supposed to be doing."

These laws could also be used for residential properties conducting illegal activities such as selling alcohol.