Beer bills advance in House

Posted May 6, 2013

— Two proposals to make beer sales more convenient in North Carolina won state House approval Monday night.

House Bill 829 would allow "growlers" – large, reusable glass or ceramic jugs of beer – to be sold outside breweries in stores, restaurants, hotels, wine shops, private clubs and community theaters. 

The bill passed its second and third reading in the House with no debate and is headed for the Senate.

The other proposal, House Bill 610, would allow in-stand beer sales at professional sporting events in stadiums and venues that seat at least 3,000 people.

Under current law, in-stand beer sales are allowed only at Carolina Panthers games in Charlotte. At all other venues, patrons have to leave their seats and stand in line at a vendor's counter to buy a drink. 

Sponsor Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford, said the measure "would allow fans to stay with their family and friends" during the game.

He said vendors would not be allowed to "verbally shout the sale of beer" in the stands, and venue management would  have to adequately train in-stand vendors to card customers and assess whether someone has had too much to drink.

The measure also directs the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission to come up with rules for the point in an event when venues should stop selling alcoholic drinks.

There was plenty of debate from Republicans and Democrats who oppose the idea. 

"Requiring people to walk to the beer stands is one more step to make sure they have not consumed too much alcohol," said Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake. "It gives the vendors a chance to observe them."

"I don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to ask people who wish to consume alcohol to get up from the seat and walk to the window and purchase their alcoholic beverage," said Rep. Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, a longtime opponent of easing alcohol laws.

Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, said the vast majority of people who attend sporting events drive to them. He said it doesn't make sense for a legislature that's been trying to tighten impaired driving laws to help drivers drink more.  

"I’m not a prude. I drink beer. I have a glass of wine," he said. But the bill "will inevitably, inevitably lead to more drinking and driving.”

Rep. Bert Jones, R-Rockingham, agreed with Glazier. “By making it more convenient, we are encouraging people to drink more at the games," he said. “You’re going to make sure that more people will be leaving that game with alcohol in their body.”

The House voted 63-50 to give the proposal tentative approval. Its final House vote is scheduled for Tuesday.


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  • MeDave May 9, 2013

    Easier access to alcohol and more people carrying guns. Thank you legislators, just what we need to go along with a state religion.

  • monkeyboy May 9, 2013

    good ol' republicans - keeping that campaign promise to create jobs. you know, by forcing their way into the private lives and taking decisions out of the hands of citizens. and here i was, thinking that was a democrats job...

  • chippers May 8, 2013

    the GOP actually doing something good for once. now repeal those stupid blue laws. these outdated laws don't allow me to buy beer on Sunday mornings. and this was historically to encourage people to go to church. let me tell you, sobriety is NOT what's keeping me from going to church on Sundays. this would be good for the economy. people should be spend sales tax rather than wasting money tithing to tax exempt religious institutions

  • wolfie7873 May 8, 2013

    Now just let me buy a six-pack with my weekly grocery shopping trip before noon on Sunday, and we'll be all set.

  • Krimson May 7, 2013

    Ribbons55 has the best idea yet... Where's a bold Dem to propose such an amendment???

  • Good Bye WRAL May 7, 2013

    Waiting in line doesn't limit the drinking. If you had a metered tap at every seat, money would be the most limiting factor in drinking at a sporing event. I'll bet the beer at the line is cheaper than the beer in the stands, so many people will still stand in line, lol. A cut-off time by each type of game helps with total consumption, so that's a good idea.

  • McLovin May 7, 2013

    dwntwnboy...its why you pregame - come in drunk and then leave sober...

  • BernsteinIII May 7, 2013

    Why was there a law not allowing those sales in the first place?

  • lewiskr45 May 7, 2013

    Can't say I'm for the "in stand" beer sales. Bad enough with people getting up and down- which they will do with "in stand" sales anyway, but then you have the beer vendors in the way up and down the aisles as well. Let people get up to get a beer- should be the same for coke, cotton candy and hot dogs too. dwntwnboy2

    You are just no fun. It is a sporting event, people are there to watch the game, not stand in line.

  • murdock May 7, 2013

    Love the way the laws are so people can get drunk...