Liquor Control Board approves mandatory Alcohol Impact Area in Spokane

April 7, 2010

32 products banned within boundaries effective May 15

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) today adopted a resolution recognizing a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area in Spokane’s downtown core during its regular Board meeting.

The purpose of an Alcohol Impact Area is to mitigate problems with chronic public inebriation or illegal activities linked to the sale or consumption of alcohol within a geographic area of a city or town. The Spokane Alcohol Impact Area boundaries run east and west from Cannon Street to Scott Street, and north and south from Spokane Falls Boulevard to Fifth Avenue.

The 32 liquor-licensed businesses and one liquor store within the boundaries that sell wine and beer for off-premises consumption will not be able to sell 32 low-cost high-alcohol-content beers and wines identified by the city effective May 15.

A list of banned products, a fact sheet, and a map of the Alcohol Impact Area is available on the WSLCB Web site.

Alcohol Impact Areas
In 1999, rules were adopted to create a framework for communities to take action to mitigate problems with chronic public inebriation and illegal activities linked to the sale and consumption of alcohol. An Alcohol Impact Area is designated by geographical boundaries and must be adopted by ordinance of the government subdivision.

Creating a voluntary Alcohol Impact Area is the first step for communities considering asking for a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area. If chronic public inebriation and its associated problems do not lessen after the voluntary Alcohol Impact Area is created, the local jurisdiction may then request Board recognition as a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area.

The City of Spokane created a voluntary Alcohol Impact Area in December 2002. The city requested that the Board adopt a mandatory Alcohol Impact Area in December 2009, and the WSLCB held a public hearing about the request March 24, 2010 in Spokane.

Seattle has three mandatory Alcohol Impact Areas, while Tacoma has two. Vancouver has a voluntary Alcohol Impact Area.

Visit www.liq.wa.gov for the latest information on Alcohol Impact Areas and background materials.

Contacts: Alan Rathbun, WSLCB Licensing and Regulation Director, 360-664-1615
Brian E. Smith, WSLCB Communications Director, 360-664-1774
Officer Max Hewitt, Spokane Police Department, 509-363-8289

-30-