Alcohol Regulation Roundup: January 3, 2011

A brand new year with brand new wacky regulations on alcohol consumption:

Alabama: Is there such a thing as too much beer? While I would say no, Alabama liquor laws draw the line at five gallons. In fact, Alabama Criminal Codes states that transporting more than five gallons of alcohol is a felony offense punishable by no less than one year and no more than five years in prison. Unfortunately, Ramiro Santos learned about the law the hard way after police stopped him for suspicion of driving under the influence and found more than 14 cases of beer. Drivers in Alabama are allowed to transport three quarts of liquor or three quarts of wine along with one case of brewed or malt beverages, but none may be within sight of the passenger.

In other Alabama news, the formerly dry Cullman County is slowly adopting the rules and regulations that will govern alcohol sales in the area.

Connecticut: Retail sales of beer, alcoholic liquor and wine at package stores and grocery stores are permitted until 9 p.m. on Friday, New Year’s Eve. State Law allows no retail sales of beer, wine or liquor on New Year’s Day, which falls on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011

District of Columbia: Charles Brodsky, the chairman of D.C.’s Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), will not attend a hearing at the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Committee to determine if the streets of Georgetown will close for a triathlon put on by Brodsky’s personal company.  That Brodsky would represent his private organization in front of a panel that often finds itself before the ABRA that Brodsky chairs raised ethical questions last month. Brodsky skipping the meeting seems to be a move to disconnect the triathlon from Brodsky’s public responsibilities as chairman of ABRA.

Indiana: Sunday sales and cold beer are a hot topic in Indiana these days.  State Senator Phil Boots will introduce a bill for the second consecutive year, which would alter Indiana state law to allow alcohol sales on Sundays, cold beer in grocery and convenience stores, and decrease restrictions on liquor stores.

New Hampshire: Newly-elected state Senator Nancy Stiles is sponsoring a bill, supported by New Hampshire’s Lodging and Restaurant Association, that would change the state’s restrictive regulation of alcohol advertising. The bill would reverse the current ban on advertising specials and happy hour deals outside of the establishment.

Washington: According to a survey conducted in Seattle, more than 80 percent of those polled support Mayor Mike McGinn’s proposal to extend bar service hours. Currently, bars must stop serving at 2 a.m. McGinn believes that extending the hours or allowing all night service would avoid the “last call” rush and keep the streets of Seattle safer. The proposal must be approved by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which remains “unconvinced.”