Do Wisconsin residents need to be able to buy booze beginning at 6:00 A.M? The UW Health-led AWARE coalition is urging lawmakers in Madison to reject legislation that would create a longer alcohol sales day in Wisconsin. “There are statistics and studies that show that restrictions on the availability of alcohol does have an impact on drunk driving, and particularly youth drinking,,” said AWARE spokesperson Lisa Maroney.
“Increasing the amount of hours that alcohol can be purchased heads us in the wrong direction,” said Maroney. “I think there’s hardly a family in Wisconsin that has not been touched in some way by alcohol abuse.” Not only that, Maroney questioned what sort of demand there is for extended alcohol sales hours. “There doesn’t seem to be an outcry from the citizens of the state saying “gosh, you mean I have to wait until 8:00 o’clock to get my six-pack of beer?” We think this is all about people just trying to improve bottom lines for businesses. We think that the public health effects far outweigh the bottom line of local retailers.”
The legislation would allow grocery stores, retailers, convenience stores and gas stations to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits beginning at 6:00 A.M., two hours earlier than current law allows. The Assembly version of the legislation was introduced by Representative Evan Wynn in May. The Senate version of the bill, from state Senator Glenn Grothman, is ready to be scheduled for a vote.
AUDIO: Bob Hague reports