The first of these measures, House Bill 1009, would prohibit the sale of alcohol using self-service checkout stands, like those seen in large grocery stores. A similar law was passed in California and went into effect this month. Proponents are concerned that minors are using these self-service devices to illegally buy alcohol without having their identification checked by store personnel. But some people believe that a better solution would be to require checker verification when alcohol is purchased at a self-service checkout machine.
The second piece of legislation is HB 1001, which would permit all movie theaters to sell beer and wine. Currently, only those movie houses which provide "restaurant services" (like The Big Cinema, The Central Cinema, and the Neptune) can sell alcoholic beverages of any kind.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim Moeller of Vancouver, says the proposal would allow smaller theaters to better compete with major chains. But substance abuse prevention advocates worry that allowing wine and beer sales in all movie theaters would serve to further "normalize" alcohol for young people and send the wrong message.
It remains to be seen whether passage of either of these bills would have any measurable effect on the prevalence of drunk driving in the state.