State to State: Not All Happy Hours Are Created Equal

Photo: flickr/aresauburn™

Photo: flickr/aresauburn™

Getting buzzed for cheap after work seems almost like a birthright for Americans. But according to the Associated Press, swilling $2 beers and/or $5 well drinks with some form of fried delicacy is not a luxury enjoyed by everyone.

In states like Massachusetts, there are varying restrictions on selling alcohol at reduced prices (in some cases, it is banned altogether). And while Kansas was able to legalize happy hour in 2011 and Pennsylvania can now host four-hour-long specials, lawmakers in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Virginia just shot down similar bills for their states. In fact, it wasn’t until 2008 that Virginia amended a 1934 law prohibiting the mixing of wine/beer with spirits.

According to the AP, this uneven attitude toward happy hours countrywide is a legacy of the Prohibition era, when states had to create their own legal framework after the federal law was repealed. As to why there are laws governing happy hours in the first place, “The reasoning behind happy hour bans or restrictions generally stems from concerns that lowering prices will encourage high consumption and its ensuing problems.”

[via The Associated Press]

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