You are here
Proposed Changes to DC Alcohol Law
Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward One) chairman of the Committee on Health and Human Services today held a hearing on the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2012. The legislation introduced by Councilmember Graham on June 19 incorporates 43 recommendations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Task Force—a volunteer task force established by Councilmember Graham in December, 2011, which met for 30 hours in 10 separate meetings. The councilmember has held three separate hearings on alcohol issues since May, including one on the Task Force recommendations. This is the fourth hearing that was held yesterday. The recommendations provide an overdue update of regulation and law and strengthen the enforcement of District alcohol laws.
“The bill strengthens enforcement by defining and adding several additional violations to the ABC laws --- such as making it a primary tier violation for a licensee to sell or serve alcohol on a suspended or expired license,” said Graham.
The legislation addresses noise issues that have been a significant and understandable concern of residents in neighborhoods with nightlife establishments. The bill establishes a night-time complaint line and response team. The operation will be based at the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) and will be open every night until one hour after the legal bar closing time.
“The bill changes the law to allow Sunday liquor sales—lifting a restriction that dates back to Prohibition and enumerates subject matter that can and cannot be contained in a Voluntary Agreements,” said Graham.