“Happy Hour” Amendment Off The Table?

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – There could be a victory for those fighting the so-called Happy Hour Amendment.

Senator Robert Hedlund and supporters of his Restaurant Equality Amendment are asking the casino bill conference committee to remove the Restaurant Protection Amendment and replace it with a review of current state laws.

This comes in response to intense opposition from advocates against drunk driving.

Supporters of the Restaurant Equality Amendment say it would equal the playing field to give restaurants the same rules as casinos, which will be able to serve free alcohol.

Victims of drunk driving and their supporters mobilized in opposition, arguing this would wipe out the state laws that restrict Happy Hour specials.

Tomorrow a group of Senators instead will ask the casino conference committee to include a comprehensive review of the current laws in the casino bill to update what they call outdated restaurant regulations.

The conference committee will have the final say on whether the amendment is removed or not.

  • Erin Brenton

    Senators, please consider supporting the current Happy Hour legislation and ask the House Conference Committee members to support the current “Exceptions” provision (204-4.04). This language identifies what responsible licensees can do when offering drinks under their establishment. This will also insure that patrons will not be able to consume large amounts of alcohol during a “determined period of time”. Stop making drunk driving socially acceptable and therefore end the carnage on our roadways. My sister would thank you, she was run down and killed at the age of 6 while delivering Camp Fire items in Pembroke, MA in 1982. Her name was Heather Woods.

  • Matt

    I would like if happy hour was brought back and people became responsible for there own actions. Saying we should not have happy hour because someone may get drunk and kill someone in an accident is just like saying we should have no prisons because an innocent person may get locked up. I am an adult, please treat me that way. I had a good friend killed by a drunk driver but you don’t see me preaching to everyone that we need more laws and inconvieniences on those that can handle it. I only ask that we enforce the ones that we do have.

    • donny

      You Go Girl!

      Unfortunately your position argues against reality. Cheap drinks offered during limited period of time generates binge drinking. Period. The whole ‘Think when your Drink’ campaign is an oxymoron. To ask drunk people to be responsible is simply irrational at it’s core. Why not give everyone in the bar a knife? They’re all adults, right. Here’s the deal; in a civilized society we set up ‘some’ guidelines, rules and limitations on all our freedoms in search of ways to coexist – to be civil. Patrons leaving Happy Hour are simply time bombs…and man, talking common sense ain’t preaching. And banning happy hours isn’t an inconvenience… unless you really like to get loaded on the cheap. If so, stay home and have some friends over. PLEASE don’t drive. – All the best.

  • Erin Brenton

    Matt – Its been proven that people aren’t responsible for their actions. Drunk driving is socially acceptable in this state. Do you know that its not even a felony if you kill someone drinking and driving in MA? You are not charged with manslaughter. You’re charged with vehicular homicide. If you want to “enforce” the laws that we have the Happy Hours Ban is currently a law. Remember there is a provision in the current law for responsible bar owners to follow. We are not here to preach…we are only asking people to stop killing innocent little girls like Melanie Powell a 13 year old who was run down by a woman who drank too much at lunch. She was a repeat offender. And of course, my sister Heather who was killed at the age of 6 while walking down the street on a Sunday morning while delivering Camp Fire items at 10am. We just want it to stop!

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