SB 5002/HB 2196: .05 BAC Bill

WWI worked again in 2024 alongside the Washington Hospitality Association, Brewers Guild, NW Cider Association, GSBA, defense attorneys and more to educate lawmakers on the harms SB 5002/HB 2196 would cause to industries across our state, including wine, restaurants, brewers, distillers, and more. This bill would have lowered the State of Washington’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level for driving from .08 to .05. It again failed to receive a vote by the full Senate. While these bills stalled for the 2023 and 2024 sessions, we expect a .05 BAC bill to be considered during the 2025 session. WWI humbly asks all Washington wineries for their support by joining WWI as we continue to get stronger and better equipped to push back as your statewide trade lobbying Association. We also want to thank our members for their support and engagement with our work, and humbly ask for their continued support and to encourage their network of wineries to join WWI so we can plan on what we need to best represent our members next session on this and all difficult legislative proposals impacting wineries. For any questions or support with membership needs, including dues, contact our Membership and Programs Manager Marie Schurk at marie@wwi.wine.

HB 2049/HB 2144: EPR and Bottle Deposit Program

WWI was closely engaged on this set of bills centered around overhauling the state’s waste management and recycling systems, creating an Oregon-style beverage container return system to incentivize consumers to recycle more as well as create the needed infrastructure through Washington to successfully implement such a system. Both bills died on the House floor as the waste haulers and many other stakeholders aggressively opposed these bills. We expect a renewed effort in 2025.

HB 2204: Emergency Permits

One “good little bill” WWI pushed along the process creates temporary retail space sharing for wineries/breweries/distilleries in times of man-made or natural disaster emergencies. Unfortunately, wildfires and other disaster situations are not slowing down each year, so we hope this new allowance helps our winery communities to better support each other in such difficult times. We would like to send a special thank you to WWI member Rachael Horn of AniChe Winery, for testifying in support of this bill.