Illinois Governor Re-Legalizes Happy Hour After 26 Long Years

It’s a big day for Illinois’ hospitality industry
Illinois Governor Re-Legalizes Happy Hour After 26 Long Years

Photo Modified: Flickr/Southern Foodways Alliance/CC 2.0

Happy hour hasn’t happened in Illinois since 1989.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed happy hour back into law after a nearly 30-year absence, reversing legislation that was first passed in 1989 over drunk-driving concerns.

The return of happy hour means that the state’s bars and restaurants are again permitted to offer alcoholic drinks at discounted prices for up to four hours a day or 15 hours a week — but there are some limitations. For example, happy hours may not include any two-for-one deals, and happy hour must end at 10 p.m.

Additionally, participating locations must notify customers of happy hour at least seven days before the event.

During the last three decades, Illinois did take part in “happy days,” during which restaurants and bars were permitted to discount drinks on particular days of the week, but the return of happy hour will be a major boon to the state’s hospitality industry. The law is also expected to increase tax revenue for the state of Illinois by increasing overall alcohol sales.

The new law is effective immediately, which means Gov. Rauner probably has a lot of free drinks headed his way.

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