Bill outlaws practice of ' drown nights' in some bars

Thursday, November 3rd 2005, 12:41 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A Norman representative says he will introduce a bill to expand a new law that ended so-called "drown nights" at some beer bars.

The law, which took effect Tuesday, applies only to places that previously were allowed to sell 3.2 percent beer and admit people from 18 to 20 years old so they can view concerts or other entertainment.

It is unlawful for anyone under 21 to drink beer in Oklahoma, but Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, R-Oklahoma City, principal author of the new law, said teenagers often got access to beer during concerts at some bars.

"Drown nights" refer to nights when beer is sold at a flat discount rate, leading to binge drinking, critics say.

The law Balkman wants to strengthen does not apply to regular beer bars and restaurants where more than 50 percent of receipts are generated from food sales.

Balkman introduced a bill during this year's session to bar "happy hour" and "drown nights" at all places that sell beer, but it died in the process.

"The bill that I will introduce will achieve what we hoped to achieve this year, which is to prohibit cheap beer promotions like happy hours and drown nights for all 3.2 beer sellers," he said.