Changes to Liquor Laws Unlikely to Impact UNH

Brandon T. Bisceglia

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A proposal by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to ease Connecticut’s restrictions on alcohol sales would be unlikely to have much of an impact on


campus life at UNH. Currently, stores in the state cannot sell alcohol at all on Sundays or later than 9:00 p.m. on other days. Bars and restaurants must stop serving alcohol at 1:00 a.m.

If adopted by the state legislature, Malloy’s proposed changes would allow stores to sell alcohol until 10:00 p.m. every day, including Sunday. Bars and restaurants would be allowed to continue serving alcohol until 2:00 a.m.

Connecticut is one of one of only two states in the U.S., along with Indiana, that does not allow off-premises sales of alcohol on Sundays. Georgia had a state ban on Sunday sales until last year.

Several UNH students are in favor of Malloy’s proposed changes. “I’ve always found it incredibly backwards that alcohol isn’t sold on a Sunday,” said UNH student Kathleen Sandin, who grew up in New Hampshire. “I don’t drink personally, but to me, Sunday is just another day.” For the people Sandin knows who do go out and drink, she didn’t think much would change. “They usually are home by midnight anyways,” she said.

UNH Student Chris Griebert also favors the proposals. He referred to the current laws as “puritanical,” and said that the state should not be restricting activities that were both “safe and for adults.” When asked if he thought the later hours at bars might lead students to drink when they should be resting or doing homework, he pointed out that “limiting access doesn’t necessarily change peoples’ habits.”

UNH policies allow students who are 21 or older to possess and consume alcohol in some areas of the campus. According to the student handbook, however, there are multiple restrictions. Students in residence halls and apartments cannot have alcohol if anyone else in the living space is below drinking age, unless they are the assigned roommates. Open containers are not allowed in public areas. Drinking contests are prohibited, as are “common source” containers, such as kegs.

Alcohol is generally not allowed at on-campus and athletic events, though the handbook does allow exceptions at some events and provides guidelines for obtaining permission to serve alcohol. In addition, students of any age are violating the university’s conduct policy if they are found intoxicated.

UNH publishes an annual security report that includes information on alcohol violations. In 2010, the last year for which statistics are available, there were three liquor law arrests. All these instances occurred in residential facilities. There were also 304 liquor law violations that were referred for disciplinary action. Of those violations, 275 occurred in residential facilities.

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Changes to Liquor Laws Unlikely to Impact UNH