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Hill Talk: Bill Would Extend Ban on Singles Sales

D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells (D) introduced legislation last week to ban single container alcohol sales in his Capitol Hill-based ward. Single sales already are banned on portions of H Street Northeast, but the new bill will ban them throughout Ward 6 unless a vendor negotiates an exemption with an Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

Similar bans already are in place in Wards 4, 7 and 8, with the aim of reducing crime, loitering, public drunkenness and public urination.

While tracking the effect of those bans, “I heard increasingly from neighborhood leaders and our elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners that they wanted Ward 6 added to the list of wards prohibiting the sale of singles,” Wells said in a statement.

Under the legislation, stores could not sell containers of beer, malt liquor or ale that are 70 ounces or smaller. Wine and other liquor sales would not be affected.

Charles Allen, Wells’ chief of staff, said he expects some liquor stores to object, but that others that do not feel they are contributing to neighborhood problems will welcome the ban and expect to receive exemptions for single sales.

Allen said the bill should receive a hearing soon.

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