Tuesday, November 15, 2011

City of Seattle proposal to keep bars open past 2 a.m.

In October, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) agreed to the City of Seattle's request to open rule-making regarding the hours of alcohol service.  The City of Seattle is asking the LCB to consider changing its policy that states that alcohol cannot be served between the hours of 2-6:00 a.m. 

To be clear, the petition submitted by Seattle Mayor McGinn asks the LCB to allow "for on-premises liquor service after 2 a.m." in "extended service hours service areas".  The proposed rule change would permit certain establishments within those areas to serve alcohol "between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.".  This means that some bars could be open 24 hours per day.  The City's petition and supporting documentation may be accessed online.

The Citywide Police Advisory Committee is speaking out against increasing hours of alcohol sales.  In a recent message from the group, they say, ". . . three of us from the Citywide PAC had an informal coffee with two (of the three) members of the Washington State Liquor Control Board.  The perception of the Board was that the City Council's support of this petition was reflective of the community's position.  This perception is completely incorrect, for the vast majority of Seattle citizens are against the proposal . . . We do know that the Mayor's Office has not publicized anything about the (LCB) community input process/opportunity."

The LCB is accepting initial comments about the potential rule change until December 1.  To do so, contact them at:
Rules Coordinator
Liquor Control Board
P.O. Box 43080
Olympia, WA  98504-3080

After the December 1 deadline, community members can still make comments until January 18, when a public hearing will be held. 

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