Montana Lawmakers Say BYOB is A-OK

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — The Montana House has rejected a proposal aimed at stopping people from bringing their own beer and wine into restaurants that don’t have liquor licenses.

House Bill 405 by Republican Rep. Roger A. Hagan of Great Falls would have made it a punishable crime for a restaurant without a liquor license to allow patrons to bring their own alcohol to consume on the premises.

Hagan argued the activity is supposed to be illegal under current liquor license laws, but local officials have found it to be vague and unenforceable.

The bill’s opponents argued the measure would hurt small restaurants that let patrons bring their own beverages. They also argued that taxpayers would have to foot the bill’s $50,000 enforcement price tag.

The bill failed Thursday 69-31

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