ALE renewing enforcement of bar memberships

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Submitted: Tue, 12/03/2013 - 4:17am
Updated: Thu, 12/05/2013 - 4:05pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Thanks to renewed enforcement of a state alcohol law you might not be able to get a drink, regardless of your age, if you’re not a card carrying member of that establishment.

Recently, ten bars in downtown Wilmington were issued warnings by the ALE for allowing patrons in without memberships.

Some owners and bartenders are now afraid the policy will keep people away from downtown.

“I don’t understand why you would have to be a member of an establishment to drink there,” said James Carver.

If a bar doesn’t receive at least 30% of their revenues from the sale of food then they are classified as a private club and must require everyone who comes through the door to become a member or kick them out.

“I feel like potentially it could hurt business because a lot of times it’s a deterrent because somebody comes into a place and they automatically ask for a membership,” said Paul Royster.

To apply for a membership you should be prepared to give your name and age as well as your social interests and hobbies.

“It’s a little weird,” said Royster. “I would be a little thrown off by that question, especially when I just came there to get a beer.”

“It’s just one more aspect of it where they’re just getting involved in things they don’t really have any business to be involved in,” said Carver. “This establishment should be able to serve anybody of legal drinking age without having to be an official member of the establishment. It’s a ridiculous fine if they don’t ask someone if they’re a member of the establishment.”

Failure to comply and you and your favorite watering hole could be cut off at the tap.

“I don’t understand the point other than I guess the control aspect or a little money grab,” said Carver. “I don’t understand what the real point of it is.”

WWAY spoke with a number of bar owners who preferred not to go on camera. The owners all said that ALE needs to be focused on the things they are doing right such as keeping under age kids out of bars and training bartenders not to over serve patrons.

WWAY also tried to reach out to the local ALE office but they have yet to return our call.

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45 Comments on "ALE renewing enforcement of bar memberships"

2015 years 8 months ago

There’s ways around every law. Get a grill/fryer, start serving food, and call yourself a restaurant.

And to all of you prohibition supporters out there, get a life,…or get a time machine and go back to 1920. I don’t drink either, but that doesn’t mean the way I live should be forced on other people, especially through government. Government doesn’t care about the well-being of people, they make new laws so they can rake in more cash through enforcement.

2015 years 8 months ago

Not a problem at all. Keep a logbook at the door and everyone signs in as they enter. This is the way it used to be 12 years ago or so and is still an active law.

It’s also a very good way to prevent those un-wanted, drunk @$$ed trouble makers from frequenting your establishment. No membership, go home. Got a membership, cause trouble, it’s revoked…go home. Don’t wantcha, don’t needja here.

It isn’t a big deal to all of you that still think the commies are coming to close down all the bars. Isn’t going to happen. They’re only after your tax money. Relax

Tomeka major
2015 years 8 months ago

Well they are doing a piss poor job of enforcing the rules as well as being fair. The clubs we go to downtown never check for membership. Depending on what group of friends I’m with we are either let in or get bs and we are sick of it. You claim you need a membership filed out for one never recieve it or a response. You tell half a group of friends who are a minority you gotta be members yet the other half who also don’t have memberships walk right in there is no excuse for this period

2015 years 8 months ago

- “And your social interests and hobbies sir?”
– “My what?”
– “Social interests and hobbies sir”
– “Well ….. I am interested in socializing with other bar patrons ….. and I do like to have an occasional beer now and then ….. Can that be considered a hobby?”
– “Give me just a minute sir while I check to see if they’re on the approved Big Brother Social Interests and Hobbies Government List this month.”
– “For this month?”
– “Yes sir, once the government discovered it could even ask questions like that, they realized they could arbitrarily change the list on a monthly basis, depending on the whims of whatever bureaucrat was running the program of course. Now if you’ll just stand by the door for about thirty minutes while I run the standard background check …..”

Regardless of whether you are pro or con concerning bars or drinking, do we really want a government that actually requires its citizens to divulge their social interests and hobbies as part of a legal compliance? That’s about as intrusive as a government forcing its long arm of the law down your throat and through your body in order to check for polyps in your colon.

Can you say “massively overreaching government intrusion” boys and girls?

2015 years 8 months ago

I long for the day that alcohol will be carry the same stigma as smoking. The alcohol industry gets away with murder . . . literally with murder.

Their advertising is aimed at youth, and the message is you cannot have a good time without being intoxicated.

Where is the Wilmington chapter of MADD?

We need to clamp down on America’s favorite recreation drug-=-Alcohol. It’s a killer in more ways than one.