Tuesday, July 12, 2016


In Boston two students, Sam Davidson and Brian Sachetta, have launched a petition to overturn Massachusetts' long standing (1987) ban on 'happy-hour' discounts.    It has already attracted 8.500 signatures.

And this in the state that gave birth to 'Cheers'.

Seven other states including Vermont, Rhode Island, North Carolina and Utah have similar bans.   Kansas and Illinois have recently lifted their bans.

Nanny State-ism at its worst.   Funny this in the so called 'land of the free'.   I hope the Greens aren't reading this blog ... It'll give them ideas above their station.


Anonymous said...

No, not nanny state just recognising the Anglo Saxon penchant for alcohol and self indigence. Under pressure from the police several UK inner cities have banned happy hours and the fall in hospital admissions, casual vandalism and violence has been nothing short of dramatic. Shopkeepers have saved a fortune by not having to disinfect their doorways every morning,

France, Spain and Italy have the cheapest booze in the world but not a binge drinking problem then again they are not Anglo saxons. If you want to see happy hour on steroids take a Swedish booze cruise. Outside the 12 mile limit the ship goes in circles and so do the passengers the bar does not shut for three days.

Lord Egbut

Noel said...

I'm surprised at your nanny state claim given your position on alcohol pops.
The ban originated after a road death in 1983 and was instigated in 1984 not 1987.
Plenty of other states killed happy hour and also the military for various reasons so that would it a nanny federation.

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... it is an infringement of the licensees right to trade as he/she thinks fit provided he/she does it within the law. In NZL it is an offence to (a) allow intoxicated persons on licensed premises and (b) sell liquor to an intoxicated person. In that context I see nothing wrong with 'Happy Hours' per se.

Noel ... TY for correction (I was going by the report in the Boston Globe). Alco-pops are are gateway drink aimed at teenagers and the reality is that Happy Hours tend to attract a slightly older age group drinking before they go home for dinner. Teenagers tend to have their 'fun' later at night. I think however you are being slightly disingenuous by saying the military banned happy hour. It was a name and name only. Certainly in the Messes I have a knowledge of there were no discounted drinks.

You might want to bone up on the 2012 Act. It changed the goalposts and changed them considerably.
The going tariff for a first offence by a licensee is 48 hours suspension (and Egbut would know well the effect of that); second offence and it could be up to 14 days suspension; third offence and the three strikes rule comes into pay with loss of license a distinct possibility. For bar managers and it's 28 days for the first offence; up to six months for a second offence and automatic cancellation for a third.

Noel said...

New York Times of the period has good articles on the rationale and who also adopted the rules, including the military who were not subject to Massachusetts Law. Nothing disingenuous in my statement at all thank you.

On cheap alcohol pops price per alcohol volume vs Massachusetts "happy hour" prices in 1983 there is probably little difference in effects.

Gerald said...

The Massachusetts laws pertaining to "happy hour" are listed in 204 CMR 4.00:

204-4.03: Certain Practices Prohibited

(1) No licensee or employee or agent of a licensee shall:

(a) offer or deliver any free drinks to any person or group of persons;

(b) deliver more than two drinks to one person at one time;

(c) sell, offer to sell or deliver to any person or group of persons any
drinks at a price less than the price regularly charged for such drinks
during the same calendar week, except at private functions not open to
the public;

(d) sell, offer to sell or deliver to any person an unlimited number of
drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price, except at private
functions not open to the public;

(e) sell, offer to sell or deliver drinks to any person or group of
persons on any one day at prices less than those charged the general
public on that day, except at private functions not open to the public;

(f) sell, offer to sell or deliver malt beverages or mixed drinks by the
pitcher except to two or more persons at any one time;

(g) increase the volume of alcoholic beverages contained in a drink
without increasing proportionately the price regularly charged for such
drink during the same calendar week;

(h) encourage or permit, on the licensed premises, any game or contest
which involves drinking or the awarding of drinks as prizes.

(2) No licensee shall advertise or promote in any way, whether within or
without the licensed premises, any of the practices prohibited under 204 CMR

Anonymous said...

Having been in the business of dispensing the evil broth I can say that serving intoxicated persons is the norm. All is well while the customer is sitting on the bar stool all smiley and cracking jokes but he is on his 4th pint and legally intoxicated.

Mr Nice Guy leaves the pub with his mates and his obligation to be nice and to behave himself ends.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Milord ... does the UK have a penalty regime similar to the above and, more importantly, do they enforce. it? The standard tool used by the Police and the Industry in assessing intoxication over here in the SCAB test ... Speech-Coordination-Appearance-Behaviour. Fail two or more and, in terms of the Act, you are considered to be intoxicated.

Noel said...

Be a bugger if you have had a TBI and you cant drink but go to the pub with your work mates to be sociable.

You accept that the Military cancelled "happy hour" in Massachusetts?

The Veteran said...

Noel ... maybe, maybe not. Go to http://articles.latimes.com/1985-03-03/news/mn-32704_1_happy-hour and the last para in this article by Micheal Weisskoph which covers off the issue reads 'Faced with discrepancies among the services and within the Army itself, Taft decided to draft a standard policy. He finally sided with the Army, issuing guidelines last month requiring military clubs in the Navy, Army and Air Force to adhere to state laws on all alcoholic beverages. The one exception is when the facility is located near the border of a state with more lenient drinking-age laws'.

Massachusetts is bordered in the north by New Hampshire and in the East by New York. Neither of these states ban 'Happy Hours'. What I'm not sure of is whether there are military facilities located near the borders. No doubt you will enlighten me.

Noel said...

Geez why reply to a 1984 issue with a later article. What was it you called me?

"Similarly, United States military bases in Massachusetts are not licensed by state liquor authorities and are therefore not included in the ban, Mr. Cummings said. The Army, however, has prohibited happy hours at all clubs and bars on its bases."

Last time I looks Army was a part of the US Military.

The Veteran said...

Noel ... settle down. Military includes Navy and Air Force and Coastguard ... but hey, you could be right. All I know is that in the late 1990s I had occasion to be invited to the US Coastguard base at North End in Boston. Ended up in the Officers Club at the end of the day where something very akin to what I remember as constituting a 'Happy hour' was taking place but don't know because I didn't have to buy a round.

Noel said...

Again what did you accuse of been?

The Veteran said...

Noel ... chill out. YOU said military, not me.