Bill pending in state Senate would change hours to consume alcoh - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Bill pending in state Senate would change hours to consume alcohol

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BECKLEY -

A bill that would change the hours of alcohol consumption just passed in the house of delegates this week.
Bars across the Mountain State who cater towards early morning drinkers may be in for a rude awakening.

A bill currently pending in the state Senate will bump last call up and hour earlier each night.
Instead of the current 3 a.m. law, bars would have to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m.
But on the flip side - it would allow bars and restaurants to start serving earlier on Sundays.
The bill proposes a 10:30 a.m. start time for Sunday morning sales as opposed to the current time of 1 p.m.
Many restaurants said almost every Sunday they find themselves turning people away from beer.

"There's a lot of people who actually don't know the state law and we have to turn them away before 1 p.m. on Sundays and some people stay and wait but others leave so it does affect our sales a little on Sundays," said Buffalo Wild Wings bartender Gabriella Green.

Other bars like Foster's in Beckley said the change really wouldn't affect them at all.

"For us we always close at 2 a.m. but I think the effect on most places around here will be negligible," said Foster's owner Buz Burke.

As the bill is written right now, one thing that wont change is buying alcohol at gas stations and stores like Walmart, you'll still have to wait until 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Lawmakers said the bill was intended to cater towards Sunday brunch crowds and tourists staying at bed and breakfasts in the mountain state.

And - they're trying to stop people from coming across the boarder at night for an extra hour or two of drinking.

The bill is now pending in the state Senate.
Less than three weeks remain in the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.
The last day is Saturday, March 8.