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Gov. Eric Holcomb

Indiana brings back 'Happy Hour'

Contributed By: The 411 News

Bars and restaurants can again offer alcoholic beverages at reduced prices

The last time Indiana bars and restaurants invited customers in for "Happy Hour," offering alcoholic drinks at reduced prices like 2-for-one was 1985.

On Thursday, Gov. Eric Holcomb said “happy days are here again” as of July 1, when he signed HEA 1086 into law. Indiana law had banned happy hours in 1985, in a bid to help reduce drunk driving.

Indiana had joined other states that passed laws to stop the selling of cheaper drinks during special hours, usually when most people’s workdays ended.

Many of those states that created bans in the mid-80s have already reversed course. As of last summer, these states still banned “happy hours”: Alaska, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont.

The bill does maintain some restrictions. Beginning July 1, bars and restaurants can offer reduced prices for drinks for no more than four hours a day and 15 hours in a week. And those happy hours can’t be between 9 p.m and 3 a.m.

The bill will also expand who can sell alcohol to-go in Indiana and how to do it in properly sealed and labeled containers. Finally, it allows hotels to sell alcohol to only registered guests in areas outside the accommodations’ bars.

“This bill will attract more patrons, increase food sales, and generally assist an industry that is still struggling due to severe losses during the pandemic,” said State Sen. Kyle Walker (R-Indianapolis).

Story Posted:03/15/2024

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