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Olympia Expands Its Downtown Alcohol Ban

64 brands will be prohibited beginning May 7

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Four Loko is included in the new ban
Four Loko is included in the new ban

The Washington State Liquor Control Board signed off on a request to ban the sale of 64 brands of high-alcoholic beverages in downtown Olympia in efforts to reduce public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and litter. In effect May 7, the ban will include Steel Reserve, Four Loko, and fortified wines like Thunderbird and MD 20/20. An earlier ban in February 2014 prohibited the sale of nine beverages in the city’s Alcohol Impact Area, many around or exceeding 8 percent alcohol, and the new expanded list is a response to alternative brands that have replaced those originally banned.

Per The Olympian, the city’s downtown liaison Brian Wilson has led efforts to address Olympia’s challenges connected to high-alcohol beverages over the past five years, including a series of "litter surveys" that revealed a majority of discarded containers were for high-alcohol drinks. Despite significant pushback from the beverage industry, stores in the downtown Alcohol Impact Area have the next month sell off their existing inventory of soon-to-be-prohibited drinks. Once the expanded ban starts, the city will track data and produce annual reports.

According to Komo News this morning, Everett is considering their own downtown ban on the sale of fortified alcoholic beverages, but hoping to get voluntary compliance from business owners first.

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