Clichés, tiresome as they may be, are born for a reason. People generally don’t beat a phrase into the ground unless it’s endowed with a hefty dose of insight. Like this one: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Exactly one year ago today (OK, 363 days if you want to get technical) LC Watch reported on a Liquor Commission hearing that centered on the conundrum of ejecting drunks from bars. According to the rules governing the LC, it’s not enough merely to stop serving intoxicated patrons; they must immediately be booted to the curb.
At the ’07 meeting, then-Commissioner Ron McOmber lamented the fact that bars couldn’t keep customers around to sober them up with coffee before sending them out into the night, where, if still loaded, they were more likely to start a fight or drive drunk. “This is a major problem,” he said.
A turn of the calendar hasn’t changed the validity or pertinence of McOmber’s comments. In fact, over the last few weeks, we’ve had three different booze-selling proprietors contact us to complain off the record about being forced to push out sloshed individuals who they knew would be a greater danger to the public outside the bar than inside. This isn’t really news, of course. Even infrequent social drinkers can tell you it’s not the tipsy guy by the pool table you’ve got to worry about; it’s the belligerent dude in the parking lot.
Hopefully in another year, we’ll be able to tell you about how this whole thing’s been sorted out and how the rules have been changed in the interest of pragmatism and common sense.
But, you know, don’t hold your breath.