11Alive: Why did Atlanta ban Happy Hour?
11Alive’s “Why Guy” Jerry Carnes investigates questions viewers have about their local communities as part of 11Alive’s commitment to keep viewers fully informed.
One viewer recently e-mailed 11Alive Why Guy Jerry Carnes to inquire about Atlanta’s ban on happy hour as Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer, quickly approaches.
Carnes researched Atlanta City Council records dating to 1985. The 1980s were at time when there was an increased awareness in society about the dangers of drinking and driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving was founded in 1980 after 13-year-old Cari Lightner was killed by a repeat drunk driver while walking to a church carnival. Her mother, Candace, carried Cari’s photo with her as she worked tirelessly to change drunk driving laws in California.
Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving pushed hard for stricter laws governing alcohol sales.
In April 1985, Atlanta’s City Council banned ‘free drinks’, ‘reduced price drinks’, and ‘all you can drink’ promotions.The Council Members at the time made the decision with the logic that discounted promotional sales of alcoholic drinks may lead to an increase DUI accidents.
In 2004, Atlanta’s City Council passed a law that businesses have to sell a drink for the same price for an entire week and cannot reduce its price for an hour or two.
Carnes’ research on the issue led him to find that there is no current interest in relaxing happy hour restrictions in Atlanta.
Watch the entire segment here.