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Everyone Is a Child': NYC Department of Health Allegedly Mulling 'Happy Hour' Ban


"Why not just cut out the middle man and outlaw fun"

The New York Post is reporting that the Department of Health is considering a ban on beer and booze specials in New York City bars and restaurants, and the proposal is apparently serious enough that one source quipped: "the alcohol lobby better find itself a good lawyer."

While a spokesman for the Department of Health has denied "plans to pursue any policy around discount-alcohol sale," a source reportedly told the Post: “It’s absolutely been discussed.”

The source continued: “It goes to show you the spirit with which they operate. Everyone is a child.”

The Post elaborates:

[Sources] said the anti-booze sentiment at the agency has reached a fever pitch, with officials recently asking state officials about the “legality of liquor in ice cream,” referring to potent products infused with bourbon, rum and tequila.

A prohibition on discounted drinks is solidly in line with [Commissioner Thomas Farley's] goals, which he outlined in his “Take Care New York 2012” report.

Farley said he aimed to “reduce risky alcohol use,” noting [that] alcohol-related hospitalizations in 2006 were roughly 209 per 100,000 people. His goal was to reduce this number to 170 per 100,000 by this year.

“DOH will advocate for policies that reduce access to alcohol by adolescents and for limits on sales practices in communities and campuses that promote drinking among adolescents and heavy drinking among adults,” the document reads.

Those familiar with the potential policy say Farley is proceeding with caution after his plan to reduce the "density" of alcohol outlets backfired, with Bloomberg apparently furious that he was never informed of the scheme.

“It’s ridiculous,” one New  York bartender, whose bar takes $2 off the price of any beer or hard liquor between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., remarked.  “With the economy the way it is right now, it’s good to see cheaper prices. We try to be generous to get a good clientele in the door.”

The potential ban leaves many in a state of shock.

Soon, they say, New York will be a ghost town full of skyscrapers, having driven everyone out through excessive taxation or outrageous legislation. Either that, or we're heading back to the days of prohibition.  New York would be joining 19 other states that have "happy hour" bans.

“What’s next — brunch?,” Tom Shanahan, a lounge owner and lawyer who represents bars and nightclubs, asked.

A writer for MSN maintains: "It just SOUNDS wrong...Why not just cut out the middle man and just outlaw fun!"

Carousel image courtesy Shutterstock.com

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