Month: January 2024

HB 2196: .05 BAC Bill

Thursday, January 25th, at 8 a.m. the House Community Safety, Justice, and Reentry Committee will be hearing a bill identical to the one currently in the Senate that lowers the allowed blood alcohol concentration threshold for someone to be arrested of a DUI from .08 to .05. Of our 50 states, only Utah has a similar law. In 2023, the Washington Wine Institute joined other hospitality industries in strongly opposing this bill. For this session, we will once again be in strong opposition and testifying in committee next Thursday to all of the reasons why this will harm Washington wineries while not solving the problem of DUIs and traffic fatalities. We welcome our WWI members to join us in our effort to push back against this policy proposal by signing in “Con” on HB 2196 prior to Thursday’s hearing. The process is simple, takes only a minute and helps our work on this issue tremendously. You can have your voice heard in the process by clicking here and letting the House Committee know you are opposed to HB 2196.

WWI Testifies before WSLCB on Outdoor Seating and MAST 13 Rules

WWI testified before the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board January 17 on rulemaking we’ve engaged in over 2023 pertaining to alcohol to go/outdoor seating and MAST 13 rules initiated from the passage of SB 5448 in last year’s legislative session.

We are using this rulemaking opportunity to push hard for updated rules that will modernize outdoor seating/service for all on-premises liquor licensees and increased allowances for MAST 13 (18-20 year old) workers.

These include:

-Improvements and changes to the rules that will ensure all on-premises licensees are clearly authorized to utilize more modern, barrier-free outdoor alcohol service.

-Streamline outdoor service rules so instead of two, complex sets of rules (public vs privately owned areas) all licensees are given one simple-to-understand-and-implement flexible rules based on each business’ desired approach to setting up their outdoor service area.

-Allow Class 13 MAST permit holders, in areas not restricted to minors, to open and pour wine and beer from bottles or cans, away from the table in the same manner they are permitted to do so at the table.

We have met with all three WSLCB Board Members as well as WSLCB licensing and policy staff advocating for these improvements to our outdoor service and MAST 13 rules. We are making some progress, and we remain hopeful of final outcomes that truly do modernize the rules. We will keep our members apprised of this work as it continues forward.