Letting restaurants violate some liquor laws: Economic favoritism, or justified boon?

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media via Arizona Daily Star

Gov. Doug Ducey is justifying telling liquor investigators and police to ignore restaurants’ violations of some state laws, saying the eateries need the money from the otherwise illegal sales he’s allowing them to make.

In new court filings, attorneys for the governor do not dispute that Arizona law prohibits restaurants from selling alcoholic beverages to go. That right is reserved for holders of other types of liquor licenses, including grocery stores and bars.

And they acknowledge that Ducey in March specifically directed that agents of the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control “shall not enforce the provisions of the Series 12 (restaurant) liquor license that prohibit the sale by restaurants of beer, wine and spirituous liquor off premises.” The governor’s order also keeps police from enforcing those laws.

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