Liquor Control Board to Decide on Extended Hours Rule

On Wednesday, May 30, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is scheduled to decide whether to approve a proposed rule to allow local jurisdictions to petition the Board for extended service hours.

Under the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), alcohol service is currently prohibited between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Approval of the proposed rule would allow local jurisdictions, such as Seattle, to petition the Liquor Control Board to allow for extended service hours. It wouldn’t create any immediate change. In order to extend service hours, a local jurisdiction would need to go through a number of steps. First of all, a jurisdiction would need to designate an extended-service area by ordinance. Then, it would need to send a petition to the Board that includes:

  • An explanation of why the local authority is seeking extended hours, and anticipated benefits;
  • Statements of support by residents and businesses within the area;
  • A statement from local law enforcement with an assessment of potential impacts of an extended hours service area and a public safety plan to manage the impacts;
  • Any restrictions or requirements the local authority seeks to apply to licensees within an extended hours service area.

If the board were to approve any such petition, it would be In effect until the local authority repeals the enabling ordinance, or the Board repeals recognition of an extended hours area, following a public hearing.

Any local jurisdiction must submit annual reports to Board that identify public safety impacts. If an area is established, the board can limit the number of licenses, and local jurisdictions may request limitations on any license.

The Liquor Control Board held hearings in Seattle, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, and Spokane. The written comment period runs through May 29; you can send comment to rules@liq.wa.gov.

The Liquor Control Board website has the proposed rule, as well as additional background information. My earlier blog post also contains background information.

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