D.C. Council Approves Proposal to Extend Alcohol Service Hours on 19 Holiday Dates

The D.C. Council approved Council Bill 19-743, the “Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Act of 2012,” which includes a provision allowing for an one-hour extension in the maximum allowable alcohol service period at the city’s restaurants, bars and hotels.

The council  revised Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s proposed $9.4 billion budget for the next fiscal year on Tuesday, including changing the Mayor’s proposal to extend alcohol service  hours by one hour, to 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends.  It did not eliminate the Mayor’s plan, as the D.C. Human Services Committee had voted earlier this month, but limited  extended hours  to apply only on nights before all District and federal holidays.  Alcohol sales would also be extended on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights of the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays, as well as New Year’s Eve and July 4 if the holidays fall on weekends.

This extension of hours would likely not apply to restaurant and bars who have voluntary agreements limiting their hours of service.

The council is scheduled to give final approval of the amended budget on June 5th.  The legislation, if approved, would go into effect on October 1.

— May 16, 2012