ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. – Hotel guests could soon be able to drink a beer, cocktail or glass of wine in and around their beachfront cabanas.

The new rule would still bar residents and beachgoers from drinking alcohol anywhere on the beach.

Current city rules bar consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages on all public streets, sidewalks, parks and all private and public sand beach areas on the Gulf of Mexico.

The St. Pete Beach City Commission delayed voting earlier this month as it debated how to both loosen its beach drinking rules and put in place consequences if problems arise.

City staff has rewritten the ordinance to strengthen restrictions and put in place penalties for hotels whose guests abuse the new privilege.

The proposed ordinance, which will require two votes to go into effect, is scheduled for its first commission vote on Aug. 8.

Go to the Tampa Bay Times’ website for more information.