R Street's Jarrett Dieterle and Christina Pesavento took to the pages of the Richmond Times-Dispatch to argue that Virginia's ban on happy hour advertising goes against the entire idea of happy hour! Happy hour is supposed to be fun, social, and collegial, which all runs counter to prohibiting restaurants from speaking about it. They also highlighted the Pacific Legal Foundation's recent lawsuit challenging the law on First Amendment grounds:
Everyone knows the first rule of happy hour: You have to talk about happy hour.
Unlike the 1990’s movie “Fight Club” — which exhorted participants not to talk about their activities — happy hour has long been synonymous with socializing, networking, and celebrating the end of the long workday.
But in Virginia, talking about happy hour is illegal. Believe it or not, current regulations forbid restaurants from marketing specific drink specials beyond their premises, including on social media. Violations can trigger week-long liquor license suspensions and fines of up to $500.
Fortunately, our system of government provides an important check for laws that restrict speech — the Constitution...
Read the whole piece here.
R Street's Jarrett Dieterle also previously appeared in a video with PLF's Anastasia Boden discussing Virginia's happy hour advertising ban and other crazy drinks laws from around the country.