An amendment to a state Assembly bill would inadvertently make the consumption of alcohol on private property illegal in some cases.
The amendment was attached to a bill which is currently making its way through the state Legislature. The bill would extend the time wineries in Wisconsin can stay open. The new bill would also extend the current 9 p.m. closing time to midnight.
According to the bill, current law prohibits any person in charge of a public place from allowing the consumption of alcohol, unless that person has a valid retail liquor license or permit. The proposed amendment would extend the scope of this prohibition to any owner or person in charge of property on which private events are held.
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Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette wrote the bill in an effort to address a problem faced by wineries throughout the state. The amendment also aimed to address concerns expressed by the Tavern League about rental venues.
“Current regulations limiting winery hours are having a detrimental impact on the flourishing winery economy in Wisconsin,” Nygren said.
After it passed the Assembly last month though, Nygren said the Legislature has since voiced concerns about the impact of the amendment targeting alcohol consumption on private property.
This provision could impact tailgating at stadiums and rental homes nearby, a practice common near Green Bay’s Lambeau Field.
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“Our intention was to never impact tailgating,” Nygren said. “As a representative that is a Packers season ticket holder, I understand the importance of this time-honored tradition.”
The bill will now move onto the Senate, although the issue may be made a priority for next session.
Nygren said he is working with all parties to address the unintended consequence involving tailgating.
“I am working with all parties to address that unintended consequence in hopes of achieving what the original goal was — to afford wineries the opportunity to stay open later,” Nygren said.