Lindauer's bill to create designated outdoor refreshment areas advances

Statehouse- The Indiana House of Representatives on Monday voted in support of State Rep. Shane Lindauer's (R-Jasper) bill to encourage local governments to create Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas to boost local economies.

According to Lindauer, a DORA is a specified area of land designated by a city or town that would be exempt from certain open container laws. Under this legislation, Hoosiers could walk around local shops, restaurants, festivals and other businesses with an alcoholic beverage in a DORA as long as they are 21 years old, stay within the boundary and wear a nontransferable wristband.

"The goal of this bill is boost tourism, and hopefully retain and attract younger Hoosiers to our communities," Lindauer said. "This bill strikes a balance between being responsible and giving locals more tools to encourage economic development and opportunities."

Cities and towns would work with the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to set boundaries and approve a DORA. The ATC would designate retailer permittees that may sell alcoholic beverages for consumption within the refreshment area.

The bill would require a sign stating that an alcoholic beverage purchased in the refreshment area must remain within the area and that possession of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle may violate the open container law. These signs would need to be posted at each exit of a designated permittee and on the premises of a vendor.

DORAs would also not able to be located near a church or school unless there is written permission from the church or school, and it would also allow minors to be within the DORA. 

House Bill 1349 now heads to the Indiana Senate for further consideration. For more information, or to watch session and committees live, visit