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City to discuss regulation of alcoholic drink specials and effects on downtown

Recommendations from Substance Abuse Advisory Commission (SAAC) regarding the regulation of alcoholic drink specials are on the agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting.

The recommendations are:

Establish a schedule of administrative penalties for violating a liquor license standards (the report notes this recommendation was first made in July, 2015). Prohibit the distribution of free alcohol to the general public. Prohibit “bottomless” deals, which offer unlimited alcoholic drinks for a fixed price. Establish a $2 minimum for any alcoholic beverage. Prohibit reduced prices for alcoholic beverages after 11 p.m. Prohibit any advertising or promotion (including social media) for any alcoholic drink discount pricing, “whether on or off the licensed premises.” “Requirement that the price of non-intoxicating beverages (such as soft drinks) may not be more expensive than the least expensive alcoholic beverage.”

A 2015 report from the Responsible Hospitality Institute found downtown Columbia had a problem with “incidents of violence, robbery, sexual assault, vandalism, crowd congestion, noise complaints, underage drinking, over-service of patrons, and impairment of both pedestrians and drivers.”

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