State lawmakers have introduced two bills to update North Carolina’s liquor laws. Currently, North Carolina is one of eight states that does not allow happy hour drink specials. Happy hour specials were banned in the 1980s in an effort to reduce drunk driving.
According to WRAL, “House Bill 1135 seeks to allow cities and counties to decide whether to allow happy-hour drink sales. Meanwhile, House Bill 1108 would do away with the state law that requires bars to classify themselves as private clubs if they do not serve food.
House Bill 1135 is sponsored by Rep. Jason Saine who claims that the proposal would help bars and restaurants that are still recovering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic. Saine said, “The idea is to get people in for a drink. They stay, they eat a meal, they spend more money instead of maybe doing that at home. And it’s good for the restaurant or hotel.”
House Bill 1108 sponsored by Rep. Tim Moffitt would repeal the law that requires bars that do not serve food to classify themselves as private clubs and collect personal information from patrons. Moffitt claims the current law puts unnecessary strain on business owners and customers.
It is unclear if either of these proposals will be taken up by the General Assembly this year, legislative leaders have said they intend to end this session by July 4.