Stricter Protocols Coming to Convenience Stores

Gas stations are places of convenience – and not just for fuel. Customers can often score food and drink as well as other necessities quickly, if at a bit more expense than a grocery or big-box store. Another thing that convenience stores often sell is alcohol, usually just beer and wine. My News LA reports on an imitative to enforce stricter protocols on alcohol sold at convenience stores in an effort to reduce drunk driving.

Los Angeles has a problem with people driving under the influence according to the advocacy group Alcohol Justice. Every year, at least 217 DUI deaths and 4,215 people are injured in motor vehicle accidents involving alcohol. They support a new measure proposed by City Councilman Bob Blumenfield.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is responsible for presiding over the manufacture, distribution, storage, and sale of alcohol in California. However, on a local level, the city provides permits to convenience stores and gas stations.

The motion would ensure that every business that has a license from the ABC is actually abiding by state law before issuing a city permit. The motion also gives power to the Department of Building and Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department the tools to inspect and issue citations when violations are discovered.

Rules governing the sale of alcohol at a gas station include:

  1. No beer or wine shall be displayed within five feet of the cash register or the front door. Permanently affixed coolers are an exception.
  2. Alcohol shall not be advertised at motor pool islands, buildings, or windows.
  3. Drive-thru window sales of alcohol are not permitted.
  4. No display or sale of beer or wine shall be made from an ice tub.
  5. Employees on duty between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. selling alcohol must be at least 21 years of age.

The Los Angeles City Council voted to adopt the proposed measure for the stricter enforcement.

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