Make your home page

Indiana lawmakers support lifting state ban on happy hours

(Photo from Video Aired on WISH)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers voted to lift a nearly 40-year ban on happy hours Tuesday.

State senators approved House Bill 1086 with bipartisan support in a 38-10 vote. The bill would allow restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages at a reduced price for portions of the day.

State Sen. Kyle Walker, the bill’s sponsor, told lawmakers Tuesday that the tourism and restaurant industries want the legislation in order to attract more patrons and increase food sales.

He said the bill would “generally assist an industry that is still fighting its way back after severe losses due to the pandemic.”

Some restrictions accompany the times businesses can reduce prices, or in other words, host a happy hour. The time may not exceed four hours in one day and 15 hours in one week. The proposal also says discounts could not be offered between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Happy hours were banned in the state in 1985, according to IndyStar archives, aiming to reduce drunk driving. Individuals who knowingly or intentionally violate the current ban could face a Class B misdemeanor, according to state code.

The proposal now goes back to the House for review. If the bill becomes law, the change would take effect July 1.

This story has been corrected to show that the bill requires further legislative action and is not yet headed to the governor to be signed.