Happy Hour might be making a comeback in Illinois drinking establishments. The happy hour drink specials have been banned under Illinois law since 1989 – 26 years – but bars and restaurants in the state may soon have grounds for celebration if the so-called “Happy Hour” bill is approved by the Governor.
The law prohibiting happy hour sales had the best intentions of course. Limiting chugging of low-cost alcoholic concoctions, serving unlimited or alcohol enhanced drinks in a specific time-frame and promoting free drinks were seen as a recipe for disaster, particularly with regard to driving under the influence, DUI.
With the possibility of the law passing, restaurants and bars are rejoicing. Proponents of the bill say they are ‘jumping up and down’ and ‘cannot believe that Illinois lawmakers did something good’ … ‘its a step forward for the entire industry’. Well, all in moderation of course – the law still prohibits specials like two for one drinks and limits the time-frame to 4 hours a day/15 hours a week with advance notice of specials, all to take place before the ‘witching hour’ of 10 p.m. Nevertheless, enthusiasm remains palpable.
And what of the issue of ‘happy hour’ and driving while intoxicated? Apparently, nothing is changing for police. They’ll be cracking down on drunk drivers like always. Police encourage drinkers to arrange for a designated driver before they journey out and they plan to keep a close eye on drivers in the evening hours if the law passes. If they notice a change in pattern, they will set up more DUI stops so responsible drinking is advised.
If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell, PC for help. Ron has been voted Top Ten in Client Satisfaction for two years running among Illinois DUI/DWI attorneys.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Happy hours may be back in Illinois”, accessed June 3, 2015.