Guests at gulf-front hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas. Residents and other beachgoers who are not registered guests of the hotels still cannot imbibe anywhere on the city's beaches. The retreat from the previous total ban on alcohol drinking on both public and private beaches was passed unanimously Tuesday night by the City Commission. "This is not a free-for-all for drinking on the beach," said Commissioner Rick Falkenstein, stressing that alcohol is still not allowed on Pass-a-Grille or other city beaches. St. Pete Beach now joins neighboring cities in allowing drinking on the beach, at least for hotel guests. Treasure Island and Madeira Beach both allow drinking by all adults on their city-owned and public beaches, with one exception: Drinking is not allowed at a Madeira Beach beachfront park, located at 14400 Gulf Blvd., that's owned by Pinellas County, which bars alcohol at its parks. Clearwater Beach, the county's other major tourist beach destination, bans alcohol for beachgoers. Among the rules St. Pete Beach hotels must follow: sale and serving of alcohol is permitted only within 10 feet of hotel-owned or licensed cabanas; cabanas must be at least 75 feet from residential properties; and alcohol can be served only from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.