County Cancels Late-Night Alcohol Sales at Restaurants

The county cancelled its Late-Night Alcohol Sales Program as of yesterday at 5 p.m., officials announced.

The program was launched in October and allowed restaurants to apply for a permit to sell and serve alcohol after 10 p.m. if they had not been cited or closed during the previous 60 days.

The county implemented regulations at the time that would automatically suspend the program if:

  • The county’s three-day test positivity average exceeds 3.25%
  • The three-day average of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeds 100
  • There is an increased association of indoor and outdoor dining with COVID-19 positive contacts of greater than 3% combined, or
  • More than 10% of inspected participants result in findings that warrant a citation, closure or revocation of a permit.

According to county health officials, the three-day average of new confirmed cases is 167 and the three-day test positivity average is 3.9%. 

There are 198 businesses that qualified for a permit and were informed Thursday of the cancellation, officials said.

The 10 p.m. limit on alcohol sales was implemented as a means of combatting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The County Council plans to vote on Tuesday on a revised executive order that clarifies establishments “may not sell or provide alcohol to anyone after 10 p.m. and that all alcohol must be collected from patrons by 10 p.m.”

This clarification is in reaction to complaints that establishments were selling large amounts of alcohol to customers just before 10, after which they could continue drinking much later.

Image from Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

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