|A sign at left informs that single servings of alcohol are not allowed before 1 p.m. at the 99 Cent Etc. Store|
Some stores in Lake City have joined a pilot program where the businesses do not sell fortified beer and wine between the hours of 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. The program is an attempt to limit access to cheap beer and wine with a high alcohol content, drinks favored by chronic public inebriates.
It is well-documented by neighborhood groups that collect and count cans and bottles strewn on our streets during community walks that Lake City has a serious public drinking problem. Douglas Park Cooperative has collected staggering numbers of cans during its twice-weekly walks.
The new program comes after strong prompting from the mayor's office and cooperation form the distributors.
Neighborhood group Douglas Park Cooperative was first pursuing an Alcohol Impact Area for the neighborhood, a much more strict program. But the voluntary pilot program was proposed by the City of Seattle because of the difficulty of keeping updated lists of regulated drinks as makers of the drinks regularly change the drinks' names.
The program will be in place seven days a week and does not include bars and restaurants.
Under the program distributors encouraged retailers to participate in the program.
|A tower of Steel Reserve tall boys in the 99 Cent Etc. store|
Because the program is in its early stages there is not an accurate count of how many business in the neighborhood are participating in the pilot program. But signs stating that single servings of alcohol are not available before 1 p.m. have been seen at at least three convenience stores in the last few days.
The Office of Economic Development plans to work with the businesses to highlight other options for small businesses that relied on selling large amounts of fortified beer and wine.
City leaders have said that if the program does not prove successful an Alcohol Impact Area may still be enforced in Lake City.