Everett’s alcohol guidelines are ‘insane’

Dec 13, 2015, 10:23 AM | Updated: Dec 14, 2015, 5:47 am
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Seattle police have a "heightened concern" about people spiking drinks at bars in Seattle. (Eric Mandel/MyNorthwest)
(Eric Mandel/MyNorthwest)

The Everett Police Department wants to stop businesses from selling too much alcohol downtown.

They’re pushing for stricter enforcement of the insane Alcohol Impact Area guidelines that ask businesses in the downtown area to voluntarily stop selling certain cheap alcoholic beverages, such as 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor, because they tend to be associated with incidents of unlawful behavior.

About 15 percent of the businesses have volunteered to do this, according to The Everett Herald.

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And there’s only been a slight decline in the “number of alcohol-involved incidents,” they say.

So Everett PD Lt. Bruce Bosman wants to make the ban mandatory.

That’s a bad idea for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that there’s scant evidence Alcohol Impact Areas work. And they don’t work because they don’t address the root cause of all this: homelessness and poverty.

As has been the case lately, Everett is trying to enact laws that are meant to either criminalize or impact the homeless.

They did it with the anti-panhandling law, which is patently unconstitutional.

And they’re doing it with the cheap alcohol ban because they want homeless people to stop buying cheap booze.

It’s a concern I understand, and it’s an issue I’d also like to prevent. But this doesn’t just impact the homeless &#8212 it impacts all consumers, and it won’t work because if you’re poor and an alcoholic, you’ll still be poor and an alcoholic. People will still go down the street, right outside the Alcohol Impact Area, buy their cheap booze and either come back to where they’re camped out downtown, or they’ll just stay in the new neighborhood.

There’s an Alcohol Impact Area for Pioneer Square in Seattle, which tends to have a high population of drunk people and litter.

So instead of stopping the problem, the city will just push it to another neighborhood.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Everett’s alcohol guidelines are ‘insane’