“I not only want to continue the single sales ban—I want to strengthen it”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jennifer

From Ward 4 Council Member Brandon Todd’s Office:

“The Targeted Ward 4 Single Sales Moratorium Amendment Act of 2015, introduced by Councilmember Brandon Todd, amends the current moratorium on single sales of alcohol. The proposed law would require that sales of containers of beer, malt liquor, or ale be sold at a minimum of four per package by off-premises retailers located in a targeted area of Ward 4.

“I not only want to continue the single sales ban—I want to strengthen it”, said Councilmember Todd. “Despite the ban of single sales of beer, malt liquor, and ale in Ward 4, we have recently seen bad actors come up with creative ways to get around this prohibition because they sell two of these types of alcoholic beverages at a time.”

31 Comment

  • Why only Ward 4?

  • Weak. I love the convenience of grabbing a tall boy (and not 12) when in need.

  • I’m not an expert in social policy, but I’m wondering if this strategy has backfired.

    I’m assuming the rationale is to keep panhandlers from buying singles throughout the day/night (i.e. they can’t afford a six pack).

    However, wouldn’t just encourage “drinking clubs”, where four or five similarly minded people band together to buy a case. I’ve seen this before at parks around DC. I think I’d rather have one down his luck guy drinking out of a paper bag than an impromptu Natty Light party in the park.

  • This is stupid. It punishes ward 4 stores who as a result can’t sell craft beer, and it doesn’t address the real problem: drugs, drug sales, and synthetics. I see very little public alcohol consumption of drunkenness in ward 4.

    • it does seem hypocritical. no shortage of yuppies buying single craft beers at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. if the issue is public drunkenness and aggressive panhandling that should be addressed on its own merits. A lot of these consumers would be prime candidates for growlers for their Schlitz malt liquor purchases.

    • jim_ed

      It is a stupid ban. That said, take a walk down Kennedy St at any time of day and there’s dozens of groups of people publicly drinking on the sidewalk. Most of them are already splitting a sixer or more of Natty Ice, so I doubt this increase would have any kind of actual effect.

    • I agree that it’s stupid. It will do nothing to stop public drunkenness, and it will prevent the sale of many craft beers. I recently moved to Ward 4, and I am not impressed with my counsel member.

  • What a stupid bandaid of a policy. As if this will do diddlysquat about drunk bums. What, you think they’re going to say “I can’t afford four beers, so I guess I just won’t drink today?”
    You want to do something that will *actually* affect quality of life? Stand up to the beverage lobbyists and get a can and bottle deposit.

    • A can/bottle deposit would be great… but isn’t that a different quality-of-life issue (litter) than the one that the ban on single sales is meant to address (public drunkenness)?

  • As much as I hate seeing bottles and cans in gutters and alleys (or any other problems they believe single sales cause), this strikes me as a particularly obnoxious way to address it . I really appreciate how relatively light DC is on blue laws and this seems like a step in the wrong direction. Besides, isn’t it a good thing that adults of legal age buy a legal drug in smaller amounts?

  • Law of unintended consequences:
    The homeless guys will just start drinking small bottles (100-200ml) of hard liquor. They’ll become even more uncontrollable and belligerent.
    I hope someone swats back this stupid initiative. Brandon Todd, please focus on quickly investigating and shutting down stores selling synthetic drugs. That will be way more effective for Ward 4.

  • I’m a Ward 4 resident and I like this.

  • So now I have to buy my trash collector and mailman a whole 4-pack?

  • justinbc

    Idiotic and out of touch.

  • Gentrification 101
    Step 1: Ban the sale of Malt based Beverages
    Step 2: Ban the sale of Single beers
    Step 3: Ban the sale of any spirit less than a pint
    Step 4: Send in Real Estate’s first line of defense….Gay dudes (They clean that area UP!)
    Step 4: Insert Wholefoods

    • In Logan Circle, the gay dudes and Whole Foods were there before the ban of singles. They gave Whole Foods an exception though.

      • And it took awhile to get the exception. For the first couple years that WF was open, you couldn’t buy single bottles. They used to tape them together so you had to buy two.

  • Certain groups of people never take responsibility for their actions. It is always gun violence instead of people shooting each other. Or single beers instead of people being alcoholics and public drunks.

  • There’s a management theory, not the Peter Principle, but similar… says something about how people who cannot perform their actual job will instead focus on small details to give an outward appearance of competence.
    Man, I wish I could remember the theory of which this is such a perfect illustration.

  • samanda_bynes

    this doesn’t need a response – tell this teetotaler to take his complaints back to his mum. U-S-A U-S-A U-S-A

  • There is a single sales ban as it is, so how does this prevent someone from buying a “craft beer”. I’m a big craft beer guy and I always buy four or six packs or fill my growler. These corner stores and bodegas are getting around the DC single sales ban by selling two-picks of beer. Will they switch to four-packs? Maybe. But at least Todd is being proactive.
    And I agree MPD needs to do more to enforce selling of synthetics and others illegal substances by these corner stores. That’s on MPD though.

  • I’m single, and I like buying things. Guess I can’t in that ward!

  • This isn’t “getting around the prohibition”, it’s obeying the law. Don’t blame the stores because the law didn’t address the real problem.

  • Single sales bans are about as discriminatory as you can get. If hobos could afford lawyers, it would’ve been declared unconstitutional by now.

  • This is so stupid. Obviuosly it’s directed at people like me, who enjoy malt liquor. But by all means, as long as snooty craft beer drinkers are able to buy whatever $17 single of whatever is popular at the moment I guess that’s a win for the city?

  • Alcohol addicts will get their alcohol, one way or another. Mount Pleasant was the instigator of this ban, years ago. The message to the men hooked on cheap booze was simply “go somewhere else with your bad behavior”. It’s perfectly obvious that their unpleasant behavior isn’t changed by making cheap singles harder to get. They just find another way to get their fix, or they go to somebody else’s neighborhood. The problem isn’t solved, it’s just moved away.

  • This is annoying! I wish it was easier to be able to buy singles.

    I often have children and teens in my home for some volunteer work I do and as a result cannot have alcohol in my home during those times. Therefore , it would be great to be able to just but a beer or two to have for the night and not have to buy the whole six pack and get ride if it (often times throwing it down the drain) by the time I have young teens over.

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