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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Meeting tonight to decide drink-special fate

City drink specials offered after 8 p.m. may be one step closer to being banned tonight as the Alcohol License Review Committee determines whether or not the Comprehensive Alcohol Issues Report will be passed and brought before the City Council on May 7.  




The report, which aims to control excessive alcohol consumption by such efforts as banning late-night drink specials, was released last month and will be presented by the subcommittee in a public hearing in room 201 of the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Blvd., at 6:30 tonight.  




Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said he believes the report will pass, but does not personally agree with all issues it encompasses.  




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\I think that there is wide-spread support on the ALRC to accept the report,"" Verveer said, but noted the difference between accepting and adopting it. 




""The difference [would be] that the ALRC would not go on record as supporting every specific recommendation in the report, but rather acknowledging receipt of it and moving forward with specific recommendations on a case-by-case basis."" 




Dick Lyshek, owner of Bull Feathers, 303 N. Henry St., said he would be surprised if the report passed in full.  




""The report is fundamentally flawed from any kind of rational objective analysis,"" he said.  




In a statement released in response to the ALRC subcommittee report, the Tavern League said ""The power to set drink prices is not and should not be within the power of city bureaucrats, just as it is not within their legal power to change the state mandated hours of operation for a tavern."" 




Verveer said the report is unspecific in many areas, including the recommendation that house parties would face increased police scrutiny. A possible outcome, he said, may be similar to Operation Sting, a late-'90s police procedure in which undercover, young-looking cops were sent to infiltrate house parties, issuing fines in the amounts of thousands of dollars.  




""I don't think we want to go back to those days of stooping to those tactics which I thought were very unnecessary,"" Verveer said.  




Although he said he has mixed feelings about the report in general, Verveer said his thoughts regarding the regulation of drink specials are strong.  




""I don't very much agree with ... the recommendation to ban drink specials,"" Verveer said. ""I am in no way convinced that the city should get involved in the business of regulating prices of drinks, be it in the campus area or be it city-wide.\

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