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Dorchester man to try to repeal ban on happy hour

The State House News Service reports one one man's effort to get a question on the 2022 ballot that would return happy hours to Massachusetts after 30 years. We find out Sept. 1 if the proposal passes constitutional muster as judged by the state Attorney General office; if it does, he'll then have to collect signatures to get it on the ballot.

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Comments

Is there any pre/post intervention data from when MA cancelled happy hour? Did it reduce drunk driving? If so, was the effect uniform or limited to car dependent areas?

I remember when this happened, but I also know that I have worked much of my adult life in places where I wasn't dependent on cars and it seems like those spaces could safely do happy hour if their city/town allowed it.

Not that I mind "happy hour" consisting of reduced price munchies.

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Voting closed 26

I think the culture and layout of the world was very different back when it was banned. Even Mother's Against Drunk Driving doesn't seem all that jazzed up about the issue right now.

Upholding laws just for the sake of upholding a law is silly. With this being older than many of the people it would even affect it should be on the State to defend keeping it around.

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I was never totally clear on what "happy hour" was supposed to be. But the things described in the article make it sound like it's basically a collection of ways for bars to get people to drink more alcohol.

...is that a thing we really need? Drunk people cause a ton of problems even if you entirely ignore drunk driving, so it's hard for me to get excited at pushing more alcohol into people.

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I was never totally clear on what "happy hour" was supposed to be

I think it was always at least a couple different things. If you were a bar owner, it was a way to entice people to drink more alcohol in a short period of time. If you were a working person, it seems that the original idea of "happy hour" was marketed as this magical moment sandwiched in between your appalling job and your dreary home life. Booze! Snacks! Fun times! All to take your mind off the awfulness of all that surrounds it.

I don't think there's anything inherently awful in the idea of going out for drinks after work, but the title "happy hour" has always struck me as cringey.

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They're not trying to "get people to drink more alcohol", they're trying to *make more money* by offering a lower price on alcohol during a part of the day that's typically less busy. It can be a great way to responsibly and frugally enjoy a pint between work and home.

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So they're trying to get people to drink earlier in the evening because that means they can reduce crowding later?

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n/a

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to get cheap people to spend money between 5 and 7 (or whenever happy hour goes to) and then get less cheap people to spend money between 7 and close. The point is that the business should be free to change their pricing to whatever they think is appropriate, and we should be able to rely on our other laws and regulations about public intoxication etc to handle any adverse behavior from customers here.

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Happy hour before cannabis cafes? No thanks.

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The stories about kids being sent down to the corner on payday by their mother, to fetch their father, before he could drink the entire paycheck, are real. Under Tom Menino, Dorchester got rid of a host of problem neighborhood watering holes. The licenses were sold to hotels and restaurants opening downtown. Under the "Recovery Mayor", we had a policy of alcohol on every corner. The "culture" has returned to everyone needs a drink all the time. Happy Hour regulars are rarely happy.

Hasn't there been enough appreciation on that micro unit you bought? Why not cash out and buy that condo with an alcove you've been coveting in Providence? For the love of God, go.

PS: whoever is the beneficiary of the water you are carrying should also go.

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Under Tom Menino, Dorchester got rid of a host of problem neighborhood watering holes. The licenses were sold to hotels and restaurants opening downtown.

At least this guy is simping for free markets. You're simping for corrupt centrist Democrats forcing neighborhood bars into selling their artificially capped licenses to chain hotels and restaurants. All under the guise of concern trolling alcoholics.

Hasn't there been enough appreciation on that micro unit you bought?

So hotels get to have wildly appreciating assets, but not individual homeowners? I have no sympathy for shelter profiteers, but get it if you can.

This is about as awful as an anon post gets, and it's a low bar.

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It only hurts the consumer.

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If a bar or restaurant is within, say, 1/4 mile of public transportation that runs at least every 20 minutes, let them have happy hour. That means the establishment is not expecting its customers to drive there, and the happy hour will not cause any public hazard.

(Also, the happy hour has to be during hours when the public transit is running.)

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Should there also be a rule that the place can't have a parking lot?

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That's a very Boston centric approach though. Lots of cities and towns have establishments within walking distance of homes but don't have regular mass transit nearby. Meanwhile stops like Braintree and the Medford/Somerville stops would open up happy hour for establishments with massive amounts of parking.

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One thing they can't have is like sales on drinks unless they have it at that price all the time. Reversing the happy hours would change that too.

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