Supporters of expansion of the availability of alcohol are celebrating a successful legislative session as Governor Mary Fallin signed another key bill liberalizing alcohol sales.
Senate Bill 646 allows the ABLE commission to issue interim beer distribution licenses to support the transition to single strength beer that voters approved through State Question 792. The bill is just the latest in a long list of measures recently signed into law that expand hours of operation for breweries, allow counties the option to permit Sunday sale of liquor, and support the request of local wineries to sell samples of their product on location.
Another measure (HB 2186) that allows the sale of alcohol in movie theaters was signed by Fallin.
Critics were concerned that it would increase underage access to alcohol. The law requires those purchasing alcohol to have a hand stamp or wear a special bracelet after their age has been verified.
The march to make alcohol consumption more widespread was facilitated by these laws, signed by Fallin:
- SB 174: Allows both spouses to own two liquor stores
- SB 211: Allows a county option for Sunday sales (noon to midnight) in liquor stores.
- SB 297: Allows wineries to give away samples of wine
- SB 411: Expands hours of operation for local breweries and liquor stores
- SB 646: Updates licensing laws to support implementation of SQ 792
Also, R.J Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Phillip Morris USA have filed a lawsuit to overturn the new $1.50 “fee” on a pack of cigarettes because they contend it is an unconstitutional tax. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is reviewing the suit and will defend the new law.