Seattle City Council
12/12/2005 4:05:00 PM
Michael Fong (206) 684-8808
COUNCIL PASSES MANDATORY ALCOHOL RESTRICTIONS
Liquor Control Board asked to impose restrictions in city core and U. District
SEATTLE –Today, the City Council passed a proposal requesting the State Liquor Control Board to impose mandatory restrictions on the sale of low cost/high alcohol content beverages in the City’s central core and University District.
“Since the bill was proposed, we’ve had an outpouring of support from the neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. “It is a promising program and the AIA will help us determine in the future whether this action does indeed make a difference.”
This bill (115442) directs the Department of Neighborhoods and the Chief of Police to request that the State Liquor Control Board impose mandatory restrictions on the sale of alcohol downtown, in the Central Area, Capitol Hill, International District, Belltown and Uptown neighborhoods and the University District. The intent of the legislation is to curtail the negative impacts on those neighborhoods that are significantly affected by chronic public inebriation.
These two new Alcohol Impact Areas comprise only 8% of the City’s entire geographical area, yet experience 55% of all alcohol-related medical incidents in the city and approximately 80% of the calls the police department receives for drinking in public.
In June 2004, the Council adopted ordinance 121487 creating the Central Core Alcohol Impact Area (AIA) and the North AIA, directing the Department of Neighborhoods to obtain voluntary compliance from businesses to restrict the sale of low cost/high alcohol content beverages in these communities. However, within 18 months, only 30% of the liquor licensees in those areas have agreed to voluntary compliance.
I feel the AIA will make a difference,” said Council President Jan Drago. “I think this will be a good benefit. “However, I will look closely at an evaluation when we have it in hand.
The Liquor Control Board will decide on sale restrictions in Spring, 2006 at the earliest.