Washington Liquor Board Considers Extending Hours of Alcohol Sales
As part of our initiative to drive responsible alcohol sales, and provide certified alcohol servers with information in the industry, we've been following a new proposal that will extend alcohol service past 2:00 a.m.
Washington state law says that alcohol cannot be sold past 2:00 a.m., but soon local governments may be able to change that time, according to a new proposal from Seattle's Mayor and City Council. The proposal would allow local governments to decide what time bars should stop selling alcohol. The hours would allow establishments to sell alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. at their discretion.
The proposal's advocates say the change would help the city’s nightlife industry, and argue there are public safety merits to not closing bars at the same time - which puts a high volume of drunk drivers on the roads all at once.
However, some owners say they don't want later hours because nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m. Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson warned, "There could be higher levels of intoxication associated with longer hours of operation, more drunk drivers on the road during peak early morning commute times, and greater demand for law enforcement services over that extended period of time."
Many opponents say that changing this law will cause a burden on law enforcement due to limited department staffing during those hours.
What does this mean for staff with a class 12 permit? It would potentially mean longer shifts, and more sales. It could mean more tips - but not necessarily better tips. It will require MAST permit holders to be more vigilant about not overserving customers and about making sure their clients have access to transportation if they've been drinking.