On July 15th Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 398 into law – bringing back “Happy Hour” in Illinois for the first time since 1989. Representative Ron Sandack, 81st District provided Choose DuPage with the following summary to help explain some of the nuances of the bill. The following is a memorandum from Bob Myers, President and Stephanie Vojas, Vice President of Government Relations for the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, sent to all ABDI Distributor Members on June 3rd regarding Happy Hour Legislation.
Permitting “Happy Hour” in Illinois which was prohibited in 1989
- Allows retailers to reduce the price of their drinks for 15 hours per week, not to exceed 4 hours per day, provided the discount is done prior to 10:00pm. The reduction of price must be posted on the premises or the retailer’s website at least 7 days prior to the specified time.
- Retailers may offer “meal packages” which include alcoholic liquor.
- Retailers may offer party packages provided the retailer offers food, limits the party to no more than 3 hours, and distributes wristbands or some other wearable to identify the participant.
- Retailers may now sell buckets of beer or its equivalent to 1 person (formerly 2 or more).
Still prohibited practices:
- Retailers may not offer 2 drinks for the price of 1 drink.
- Retailers may not encourage games or contests that involve alcoholic drinking (beer pong, etc.).
- Retailers may not increase the volume of a drink without increasing the price proportionately.