House Committee votes to let libations flow for DNC

Posted June 6, 2012

— The House Commerce subcommittee that deals with alcohol beverage control issues has cleared a bill to allow liquor sales on Labor Day in Mecklenburg County so the Democratic National Convention doesn't run dry.

You can buy beer and wine in grocery stores and other retailers that have the proper permits. But liquor (rum, whiskey, etc.) is sold only in government-run ABC stores. Under current state law, ABC stores (which are run by units of local government) must close on Labor Day. ABC stores also are closed all Sundays. 

For the average tippler, this might mean stocking up on a couple of bottles Friday for the long weekend. But this year, the Democratic National Convention will be coming to Charlotte right as the long weekend hits. Bars and restaurants expect to welcome an extra 68,000 visitors for festivities that begin over the weekend and would have to amass a larger than normal stockpile.

"Most of the retail establishments and other venues that might be rented out don't have the storage capacity," said Rep. Ruth Samuelson, R-Mecklenburg. Stockpiling liquor in private storage closet presents a safety and security issue, Samuelson said.

The bill passed easily on a voice vote, but Rep. William Current, R-Gaston, did ask for one assurance.

"Can Rep. Samuelson ensure that all those drunks stay on the other side of the river," Current asked. Gaston County is next door to Mecklenburg.

Samuelson allowed as how nobody is allowed to drink and drive. Meanwhile, committee chairman Jamie Boles, R-Moore, had his own take.

"The only thing that I'm hoping is that, when they do sober up, it will be November the 10th, and they'll all go back home and realize they don't have a job," Boles said. 

The measure next goes to the House floor.

Update: The House has passed this measure on a voice vote. It now goes to the Senate. 


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  • heisenberg Jun 11, 2012

    Seriously, they can't go one day without hitting the booze? Explains some of the decisions they make I guess.

  • 23tony Jun 6, 2012

    Why do they get special treatment? What makes them so special that we change the laws for them, but not for anyone else?

  • driverkid3 Jun 6, 2012

    Wonder how many of them will be caught for drunk driving?

  • driverkid3 Jun 6, 2012

    Aren't they doing enough damage already without throwing booze into the mix? Or is it a case of giving the dems what they want again?